- By Katie Peverada
(Aug. 1, 2015) – Seattle Reign FC took a 2-1 lead over the Boston Breakers on a 59th-minute penalty kick and held on for the victory, handing the hosts a loss on Saturday afternoon at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium in front of a sellout crowd of 4,325.
The foul came after Julie King was called for taking down Kim Little in the box. On the kick, despite guessing the right side, Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher just missed keeping the low, hard shot out of the net. Both of Seattle’s goals came off dead balls, with the first goal coming on a corner in the first half.
“We rarely get scored on, on a corner kick, so that was tough, and we conceded the other goal on a penalty,” Boston Breakers head coach Tom Durkin said.
Boston kept fighting to regain the lead and the defense kept the score close and generated some nice chances.
Mollie Pathman found Suzane Pires on a run into the box in the 61stminute, but the Seattle defenders closed in for the clear. Pathman had made a similar play at the end of the first half when she sprinted down the wing and took a hard cross towards the top of the box that no Breaker was able to connect with. Pires had another chance a minute later when Maddy Evans also found her in the middle of the box, but this time the striker was unable to turn on her defender.
Kristie Mewis evades Kim Little and Keelin Winters in Saturday's match (Photo By Mike Gridley)
King’s header nearly found the back of the net on a corner kick in the 77th minute, but it floated over the crossbar. Boston then earned a corner when Kristie Mewis worked a give-and-go through the midfield with Stephanie McCaffrey and then battled with two Reign defenders to win the corner.
“We tried to sit in and see if we could respond on the counter,” Durkin said. “Once we were able to start building up, we were able to turn the game a little bit because we [make] them defend.”
Despite being down a player for the last 10 minutes of the game due to two King yellow cards, Boston kept the pressure in Seattle’s end.
In the waning minutes of stoppage time, Mewis had a couple near misses. On a free kick from 25 yards out, Mewis sent the ball over the crossbar. On the ensuing start of play, Mewis won the ball outside the 18 and knuckled a shot towards the net, but it just missed the left side of the net.
“It was too much too little too late,” Durkin said.
It was Mewis who had tied the game in the 34th minute, as her fifth goal of the season pulled the Breakers back even with the Reign at one goal apiece. Pires registered her first point of the season on the assist.
The play developed back near the midfield when Katie Schoepfer controlled the ball in traffic and hit Pires with a pass down the left flank. Pires, after working down the field and turning around two Seattle defenders, sent a lofted ball into the box for a running Mewis. Mewis used her head to direct the ball over Seattle goalkeeper Caroline Stanley and off the crossbar. Stanley had one save in the game on Boston’s two shots on goal.
It was the Reign that got on the board first, capitalizing on a corner kick in the 24th minute. Little sent the ball to the far side of the box and, despite Naeher parrying it away, it was Beverly Yanez that got to it first and sent it into the net for the 1-0 lead.
Seattle used their backline to send in crosses and long balls but Boston’s backline combined to step up when needed. King timed a couple balls correctly, including a nice clearance with her head in the 72nd minute after Stephanie Cox had sent in a threatening cross. Evans, at right back, blocked three shots in the first half, sliding in front of Seattle’s attempts, including a dangerous one from Katrine Veje in the fourth minute.
Naeher had another strong game in net for the Breakers, making four saves on six Seattle shots.
On a free kick in the 12th minute, Naeher timed her jump on Little’s dangerous rising shot, and then got down low to block another Little shot a minute later. Naeher once again answered the call in the 20th minute when Cox lofted a deep ball towards the right side of the box. The ball found Jess Fishlock’s head and then landed at Little’s feet for the one-timer, but Naeher made a nice save to her right.
Naeher also made a crucial save on Little in the second half. With Little on the doorstep and no defenders in front of her, Naeher shot out her feet to deflect the close-range shot for a corner. Naeher stood firm in the path of a hard, rising shot from Yanez in the 76th, as she did on many shots through the game.
The Breakers hit the road to face Portland Thorns FC Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET. The match will air on Fox Sports Go. Boston then returns home for its final game at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium this season, Aug 8 vs. Washington. To purchase tickets, visit www.breakerstickets.com.
Match: Boston Breakers vs. Seattle Reign FC
Date: Aug. 1, 2015
Venue: Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium in Allston, Mass.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Weather: 88 degrees, sunny
BOS: Alyssa Naeher, Maddy Evans, Julie King. Kassey Kallman, Mollie Pathman, Amy Barczuk (Rachel Wood, 77), Lauren Lazo (Stephanie Verdoia, 73), Kristie Mewis, Katie Schoepfer, Stephanie McCaffrey. Suzane Pires (Nkem Ezurike, 85)
Subs not used: Jami Kranich, Morgan Marlborough, Bia
SRFC: Caroline Stanley, Lauren Barnes, Stephanie Cox, Rachel Corsie, Kendall Fletcher, Keelin Winters (Mariah Bullock, 85), Katrine Veje (Elli Reed, 69), Merritt Matthias (Danielle Foxhoven, 75), Jessica Fishlock, Kim Little, Beverly Yanez
Subs not used: Abigail Steele, Michelle Cruz, Amber Brooks
GOALS 1 2 F
Boston (3-9-3) 1 0 1
Seattle Reign FC (9-3-3) 1 1 2
Goal Time Team Goal Scorer Assist
1 24 SRFC Beverly Yanez
2 34 Boston Kristie Mewis Suzane Pires
3 59 SRFC Kim Little
SHOTS ON GOAL
BOS: Julie King (caution, 59), Julie King (caution, 82)
SRFC: Kim Little (caution, 65)
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Adrienne McDonald, Kali Langevin
Fourth Official: Ian McKay