Breakers forward Hayley Dowd scales pyramid to the top

(Sept. 28, 2017) - Boston Breakers forward Hayley Dowd is yet another example of the success of the Breakers pyramid.

The 23-year-old from Peabody Mass. got her start with the Boston Breakers College Academy Team in 2015 while in between seasons at Boston College. Dowd played two seasons with the Breakers College Academy Team, which competes in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL).

Upon finishing her senior season at Boston College, Dowd entered the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft. She was the No. 38 overall pick by the Breakers in the January 2017 draft. Although she didn’t make the pro team’s opening-day roster, Dowd stayed with the Breakers organization, suiting up for the Boston Breakers Reserve Team, where she had a monster season.

Dowd led the WPSL with 13 goals helped guide the team to the WPSL Final Four. Throughout the Reserve Team season, Dowd trained with the Breakers pro team, under the watchful eyes of head coach Matt Beard and his staff.

On Aug. 30, it became official. Dowd was signed to a pro contract by the Breakers. That day, Beard commented: “I’ve been really pleased. Hayley deserves a contract. She’s been training with us all year, playing with the Reserves and scoring goals consistently for the Reserve team. She can actually play in more than one position, which we’ve been impressed by.”

And then on Sept. 23 just outside the nation’s capital, Dowd made her professional debut, coming on for Tiffany Weimer in the 65th minute. Dowd played 25 minutes, had 10 touches, made four passes, and took one shot in the win.

“It was a little bit of both (nervousness and excitement) because I didn’t expect my name that early, but it was a dream come true, so I was mostly excited,” she said of her debut in a game they Breakers defeated the Spirit, 3-0.

Dowd had a lot of praise for the Breakers organization in helping her work her way up the ladder, all the way to the pro team.

“It’s very good,” Dowd said about the Breakers pyramid structure. “I was a junior and senior in college when I got to train with the full team, so that was really nice. And, with the Reserves this year, they were awesome as well. Doc (Simpson) did a really good job, and then finally making that last leap into the full team. It was nice knowing that having (Matt), even in college, know who you were and then just being welcomed here to train and to learn, and I had a lot to learn. That learning process was helped by the players and coaches here.”

“Hayley worked really hard for her opportunity, and the great thing is we got to see and somewhat control her development through the Breakers pyramid,” said Boston Breakers President of Soccer Operations and Development, Lee Billiard. “We have invested a lot of time and resources into building the pyramid with its purpose to develop fantastic home grown talent, like Hayley. I am happy she got to sign her pro contract, and happy to see the Breakers development pyramid served its purpose again. I’m excited to see the next set of players to come through the system.”

Dowd and the Breakers close out the 2017 NWSL season Saturday, Sept. 30, at home against Sky Blue FC. Tickets for the 7 p.m. ET game can be purchased by visiting

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