(Aug. 18, 2014) - The Boston Breakers play their final game of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) 2014 season against the Houston Dash at Harvard Stadium in front of 3,006 fans resulting in a 1-0 shutout by the Breakers.
The first half was full of strong passing and connections between both teams but neither were able to find the back of the box to put a score on their board. In the seventh minute, Heather O’Reilly swung the ball toward the Houston box Erin McLeod was able to stop it. Houston came back with an attempt in the tenth minute when Kealia Ohai had a good cross into the Breakers box but Alyssa Naeher dove and cleared out the ball. Ohai made a few more attempts at a goal between the 13th minute and the 19th each with no success, Naeher was always there.
The Breakers were strong in the first half, holding possession and having several shooting opportunities. Kristie Mewis had a strong attempt when she chipped the ball in a long shot toward the far goal post and it landed at the feet of O’Reilly who did her best to score but the ball went across the front of the goal. In the 36th minute. O’Reilly received a beautiful pass from Mewis again and sent the ball towards the goal but was blocked by McLeod.
Houston came back in the 37th, when Ohai took off down the middle of the field connecting with a shot. Luckily, Naeher was able to get her hands on it and send it out for a corner. In the 43rd minute, Ohai would make another attempt at a goal but the ball went off the far post. Both ‘keepers held strong and did not allow a single goal in the first half.
Starting the second half, both teams came out hungry for a win. In the 51st minute Meghan Klingenberg, Dash defense, tried to control the ball into the Breakers box but was turned away by Naeher. The Breakers would make a counter attack at the Dash box in the 54th minute with a corner by O’Reilly, but it fell straight into the hands of McLeod.
Twice in the second half Courtney Jones had two hard tackles once in the 52nd and again in the 54th but did not receive a card. In the 59th minute of play Kaylynn Kyle tried again for a Dash goal by passing to Tiffany McCarty who was unable to get enough power on it to get by Naeher.
Two minutes later the Breakers would attempt a similar shot, with O’Reilly flying past the Dash defense and passing to Katie Schoepfer, who took the shot but went straight into McLeod’s hands. Boston held strong with possession for most of the second half placing more and more pressure onto the Dash defense.
In the 77th minute, O’Reilly crossed the ball from the far side toward the Dash net to find Mewis who scored and gave Boston the 1-0 lead. Refusing to settle for the result, the Dash pushed harder to score but was held off by the Breakers defense and the amazing work of Player of the Week Naeher.
In the three additional minutes added to the game, the Breakers had two more attempts at a goal, first by a combination with Schoepfer and O’Reilly and again by Bianca D’Agostino. Houston cleared out the ball as the whistle blew. The game concluded with a 1-0 score for the Breakers and a shut out for Alyssa Naeher.
Boston finished the season with a record of 6-16-2. As a team the Breakers have had a total of 37 goals and 21 assists with O’Reilly holding the seventh spot in the league for goals with nine as well as fifth for shots of goal with 34. Naeher has made a total of 116 saves and hold the number one spot for saves as well as minutes in goal for the entire NWSL. She has also had three shutouts this season.
The Breakers will be back at Harvard Stadium next season. 2015 Boston Breakers tickets are on sale at www.breakerstickets.com!