Breakers fall to the Spirit at home

Washington edges five-goal game

(June 2, 2014) In an entertaining and hard-fought contest, the Boston Breakers ultimately lost out to the Washington Spirit at Harvard Stadium by a 3-2 scoreline. The Breakers, who are now 2-7-0, were twice in front, with a brace from Lianne Sanderson, but Christine Nairn and Jodie Taylor at the double settled the game for the visitors.

(June 2, 2014) – In an entertaining and hard-fought contest, the Boston Breakers ultimately lost out to the Washington Spirit at Harvard Stadium by a 3-2 scoreline. The Breakers, who are now 2-7-0, were twice in front, with a brace from Lianne Sanderson, but Christine Nairn and Jodie Taylor at the double settled the game for the visitors.

                                                

The Boston Breakers unite after the first of two goals for Sanderson last night at Harvard Stadium. Photo By Linehan Photography 

Boston was looking to build on a highly impressive 4-1 win at home to Portland on Wednesday but a number of changes to the team were made by Head Coach Tom Durkin. Jazmine Reeves, who scored a terrific hat-trick, was named on the bench, as was that game’s other Breakers scorer, Nkem Ezurike. One of those returning to the starting line-up was Heather O’Reilly and she fired the first warning shot with a curling attempt that landed on the roof of the net.

O’Reilly was soon involved again as she took a pass from Lianne Sanderson and forced Ashlyn Harris into a reflex save. The rebound fell for Lisa De Vanna, back in the team after international duty with Australia and a suspension with the Breakers, but she could not find the target. De Vanna was always a threat and on 12 minutes she went close again, this time racing onto a pass from Sanderson before being thwarted by Harris.

U.S. Women’s National Team keeper Harris was called upon again four minutes later as O’Reilly found herself one-v-one with her. Bearing down on goal, the midfielder composed herself but after choosing to take the shot instead of going around Harris she saw her effort blocked. De Vanna was playing on the shoulder of the last defender as always and she got a chance on 25 minutes, opting to try to beat Harris with a lob, but without success.

In truth, the Breakers were well on top and they finally made their pressure pay just before the half hour. De Vanna put pressure on Ali Krieger and when she regained possession she found Kristie Mewis, another to return to the starting team. Mewis picked out Sanderson in the box and the England international managed to turn and find the corner of the goal with an assured strike.

The lead lasted four minutes as a free-kick was awarded on the edge of the Breakers’ penalty area for a handball. Following her stunning match-winner against Houston Dash, Christine Nairn stepped up and struck an accurate free-kick home with her left foot.

It would be just another four minutes though before the Breakers hit back and they did so through Sanderson again. De Vanna, who had been absent for four games, fed it into Sanderson and she took the ball under control before producing another fine finish. The goal was Sanderson’s fourth of the season and the second time she had struck a brace at Harvard in 2014 following her double in the 3-2 win over Sky Blue in April.

Boston tried to move further ahead before the break and they almost did so through O’Reilly. Moving in from the right, she switched it onto her left and hit one towards the far corner but saw her strike end up just wide of the post. Washington responded with a free-kick from Danesha Adams that was blocked and a shot from Bianca Sierra which was handled by Alyssa Naeher.

Defending the lead as the second half began, the Breakers could only hold onto the advantage for three minutes. Canada midfielder Diana Matheson came up with the assist for Jodie Taylor, threading a pass that was duly dispatched for 2-2. Taylor went close again on 54 minutes with a back-post header from a Sierra cross that had Naeher scrambling as it landed narrowly wide.

Sanderson was close to her hat-trick up the other end but after collecting the pass from De Vanna she was unable to beat Harris. Mewis had been trying for much of the evening to hit the target from outside the box and her left-footer just past the hour was not too far away. Washington midfielder Yael Averbuch was next to try her luck with a menacing attempt that flew inches over the bar.

The Breakers thought they had the lead once more on 73 minutes as captain Cat Whitehill headed back across goal from Sanderson’s free-kick and into the bottom corner. The joy was short-lived however as the flag was raised for offside against the defender with her teammates about to congratulate her.

The Spirit wasted no time in snatching control of the match as they went 3-2 ahead just a minute later. Joanna Lohman was dispossessed by Taylor and the English forward ran on to dink the finish away from Naeher as she went to ground. It was Taylor’s second of the match and her fifth of the season, levelling her with teammate Matheson.

Substitute Maddy Evans, who impressed with an assist against Portland, tried an effort that went over the bar and Lohman was next to go close as she let fly on the left foot. Evans picked out Sanderson at the back post on 82 minutes and after taking a touch to control, she just could not manage to keep her effort down.

Adams then had a go for the Spirit in a game full of attempts at goal, but her shot was wayward. Heading towards injury time, Lohman was agonizingly close to restoring parity in the score but her strike just missed the top corner. The closest Boston would go in the closing stages was through an inviting pass across the face of goal by Reeves that was ultimately dealt with by the Spirit defense.

Washington improved to 5-4-1 with the victory while Boston tasted defeat for the seventh time this season (2-7-0).

Next up for the Breakers is a trip to FC Kansas City on Saturday, June 7th. The game takes place at Verizon Wireless Field at Durwood Stadium (kickoff 7 p.m. CT). Following that, the Breakers return to Harvard Stadium for another home encounter with the Washington Spirit on Wednesday, June 11th (kickoff 7 p.m. ET). You can purchase tickets for the game from www.breakerstickets.com or by calling 617-945-1704.

You are able to view the entire match at the You Tube Link listed below

http://youtu.be/7TsNknJ3_2M

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