(March 9, 2014) - The Boston Breakers open the 2014 preseason Monday, March 10, training at the University Sports Complex in Hanover, Mass.
This will be the first preseason under the direction of head coach Tom Durkin. Durkin, hired in September 2013, is joined on the coaching staff by Breakers defender/assistant coach Cat Whitehill and goalkeeper coach Ashley Phillips.
The Breakers return 11 players from last year’s roster, including Team MVP Lianne Sanderson, currently playing for England in the Cyprus Cup, and U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Heather O’Reilly. The two combined for 10 goals and 13 assists last season for the Breakers. Outside back Bianca D'Agostino makes her return from an ACL injury that sidelined the Longmeadow, Mass. native for the 2013 National Women's Soccer League season. This will be D'Agostino’s third year with the Breakers, having joined the club in 2012 for the WPSL Elite season. The longest-tenured Breaker, Katie Schoepfer, is back for the 2014 season, marking her fourth year with the team. Schoepfer scored two goals with one assist in 2013 and has 11 goals and nine assists in her Breakers career.
Midfielder Maddy Evans, left, and defender Cat Whitehill warm up during the 2013 preseason (Photo by Mike Gridley)
Of the newly acquired players, one has close ties to the region: former Whitman-Hanson Regional High School and Boston College star Kristie Mewis. The 23-year-old defender from Hanson, Mass. has 14 caps and one goal for the U.S. Women’s National Team. Mewis is also a product of Scorpions Soccer Club, which has since been rebranded as Boston Breakers Academy.
The Breakers also welcome a number of players who’ve made their mark on the international level, including Canadian Women’s National Team midfielder and Olympic bronze medalist Kaylyn Kyle, Canadian defender and 2013 College Cup champion with UCLA, Chelsea Stewart, Australian striker Lisa De Vanna, and Colombian forward Melissa Ortiz, who played for her country in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Currently, six Breakers are overseas playing in a pair of tournaments. O’Reilly, Mewis, and keeper Alyssa Naeher are with the U.S. Women’s National Team in the Algarve Cup in Portugal, while Sanderson (England), Kyle (Canada), and Boston’s No. 1 pick in the 2014 NWSL Draft, Nkem Ezurike (Canada), are playing in the Cyprus Cup. The Breakers’ U.S. trio is expected to arrive in Boston on March 15. Ezurike is due back March 14, Sanderson on March 16, and Kyle on March 24. The Breakers will play three preseason games, beginning March 24, at 7 p.m. against Northeastern University on Parsons Field in Brookline, Mass., followed by matches against Boston College on March 29 at 3 p.m. in Newton, and April 5 against the University of Connecticut. That match will be played at ForeKicks in Taunton, Mass.
The Breakers open the 2014 NWSL season April 13 at Seattle Reign FC before returning to Boston for their home opener, Sunday, April 20 against the expansion Houston Dash. To purchase tickets to all Breakers home games, visit www.breakerstickets.com.