- By Meg Kelly with Katie Peverada
(July 31, 2015) - The Boston Breakers will look for a fresh start in August as they return home to take on Seattle Reign FC at 4 p.m. ET Saturday at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium in Allston, Mass.
The Breakers are coming off a 3-1 defeat at Sky Blue FC on Saturday night. Sky Blue FC came out furiously to start the match as Kelley O’Hara netted two first-half goals, and Samantha Kerr scored early in the second half to give Sky Blue a 3-0 lead. Boston got one back late as Lauren Lazo found the back of the net at the 84-minute mark to score her first professional goal.
The Breakers fell to ninth in the NWSL standings with 12 points. They hold a 3-8-3 record. Seattle owns the top spot in the table with 27 points and boasts an 8-3-3 record.
Seattle is coming off back-to-back wins against the Portland Thorns, winning 1-0 at Portland on July 22 and most recently earned a 3-0 home win on Sunday vs. the Thorns.
“They just crushed Portland, so Seattle is really firing on all cylinders. We had a good match against them last time, and we had a really good week of preparation to play them, but we were unfortunate not to get a result against them,” Boston Breakers head coach Tom Durkin said. “They were highly respectful of the way our girls played. I expect them, if they’re following our last games, to press us. I expect the same M.O. from them. They’re still the same marquee team in the league. It’s going to be a really hot day, so I expect both teams to go into buildup mode, to try and build up and move the team up together. You know, we’re trying to recover from the two road trips and the three games in seven days, and it’s taking some time and it’s taking a little bit of a toll on the girls. But I expect Seattle to be fired up in their push to get the shield.”
Stephanie McCaffrey has three goals this season for the Breakers (Photo By Mike Gridley)
The Breakers will look to avenge their previous loss to Seattle, a 3-2 decision on June 21 as Seattle handed Boston its first home loss of the season and snapped a six-game home unbeaten streak.
In a back-and-forth contest, Kristie Mewis took the lead in the 14th minute to give Boston an early lead, but Seattle’s Kim Little tied it up right before the half at the 42-minute mark. Beverly Yanez gave Seattle the lead in the 66th minute, but Morgan Marlborough tied the game again in the 76th minute. Jess Fishlock had the last say as she netted the game-winner in the 86th to give Seattle the 3-2 road win.
Morgan Marlborough scored the game-tying goal against Seattle in the last meeting with the Reign (Photo By Mike Gridley)
The Reign have a high-powered offense as they lead the league in goals scored (28) and goal differential (12). After a 1-2 start to the season, the Reign have gone 7-1-3 in their last 11 matches and have netted at least three goals in all but two wins this season. Yanez, the reigning NWSL Player of the Week, leads Seattle with eights goals, good for second overall in the league. Fishlock is second on the team with five goals and two assists, while 2014 NWSL Golden Boot winner Kim Little has been an all-around force once again as she leads the league with six assists and has netted five goals.
Haley Kopmeyer has stepped up with Hope Solo’s absence. Hopmeyer leads the league in wins (seven) and is tied for the lead in shutouts (four).
“You know obviously, we play open. We really haven’t played defensively. We have to do better in the buildup and capitalize on the chances that we get, which we haven’t done. So if we can convert chances, I think it gives us a good shot,” Durkin said. “But if we don’t convert our chances, you see eventually that their quality came through in the end. In the 86th or 87th minute, Fishlock and Little were still in the full tilt and we were really fatigued. We had way more chances than they did prior to that. I think we lost a chance on our end to go up 3-2, and then they win 3-2. It’s difficult. It’s hard for our girls. (They) are beaten up physically right now, emotionally from losing. It’s not easy for anybody. It’ll be a difficult game in difficult conditions, but this is a game that if we can get a result it will rejuvenate the team.”
Boston’s match against Seattle will air on tape delay on New England Sports Network (NESN) on Monday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. ET.
After Saturday’s match against Seattle, the Breakers will take on the Washington Spirit on Aug. 8 in their home finale.
To purchase tickets to Boston Breakers home games, call 617-945-1704 or visit www.breakerstickets.com. Season tickets for 2016 go on sale Aug. 1.