The Boston Breakers came back for an early deficit, getting a pair of goals from Heather O’Reilly to take a 2-1 win over the Western New York Flash Saturday night in Rochester, N.Y., their first victory in the National Women’s Soccer League.
The Boston Breakers came back for an early deficit, getting a pair of goals from Heather O’Reilly to take a 2-1 win over the Western New York Flash Saturday night in Rochester, N.Y., their first victory in the National Women’s Soccer League. The Breakers improved to 1-0-1 on the season.
"I think it was important for us to play well. They’re a good team. And there were times they had possession, times we had possession. It was important for us to persevere and get the win, especially on the road," Boston Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. "I thought HAO (O’Reilly) was very good. Her work rate is never in question. She did an excellent job. They had to work to catch her, and they lost the battle."
After Flash forward and Australian international Samantha Kerr gave the home side a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute, the Breakers responded less than 10 minutes later. Forward Sydney Leroux hit a cross from the left side of the box right to O’Reilly, who beat Flash keeper Adrianna Franch far post to make it a 1-1 game in the 16th minute.
The Breakers maintained possession for most of the match, with the Flash getting only a few good looks on goal. The ones they did, Breakers keeper Cecilia Santiago was right there to make the stops. In the 25th minute, the Mexican Women’s National Team keeper stopped a rocket of a shot off the foot of Kerr inside the 18. In the 35th minute, Santiago, who finished with five saves, came up big again, this time stopping a point-blank shot from Flash midfielder McCall Zerboni.
The Breakers came out maintaining possession in the second half and had a handful of chances to take the lead. Leroux linked up with O’Reilly in the 50th minute, but Franch came up with a big stop on O’Reilly. And in the 75th minute, O’Reilly hit the post, but her third attempt on goal in the second half did not fall short. Lianne Sanderson played in O’Reilly this time, and the U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder beat Franch through her legs in the 83rd minute for the game-winner. With the win, the 18-year-old Santiago became the youngest keeper in franchise history to earn a victory in goal.
"She’s a young goalkeeper, it was her first start, and I think she did a good job," Cole said. "She came up with some big saves."
In addition to Santiago, three other Breakers made their NWSL debut Saturday night. Defender Julie King and midfielder Mariah Noguiera both played 90 minutes, and Canadian international, forward Adriana Leon, came on for Leroux in the 84th minute.
The Breakers host the Chicago Red Stars Saturday, May 4, at 6 p.m. at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville. You can purchase tickets now by going to www.breakerstickets.com or by calling 617-945-1704.
Shots: Boston 13, Western New York 11
Shots on goal: Boston 9, Western New York 6
Saves: Western New York: Adrianna Franch (6); Boston: Cecilia Santiago (5)
Corners: Western New York 6, Boston 5
Offsides: Boston 5, Western New York 1
Cautions: Boston: Cat Whitehill (reckless foul); Western New York: none
Fouls: Western New York 7, Boston 3
WNY: Samantha Kerr (Laura Heyboer) 7’
BOS: Heather O’Reilly (Sydney Leroux) 16’
BOS: Heather O’Reilly (Lianne Sanderson) 83’
Western New York: Adrianna Franch, Brittany Taylor, Katherine Reynolds, Alex Sahlen, Estelle Johnson, Kim Yokers (Vicki DiMartino, 87’), McCall Zerboni, Veronica Perez (Angela Salem, 33’), Samantha Kerr, Laura Heyboer (Jodi-Ann Robinson, 71’), Adriana
Subs not used: N/A
Boston: Cecilia Santiago, Julie King, Cat Whitehill, Kia McNeill, Rhian Wilkinson, Mariah Noguiera, Heather O’Reilly, Joanna Lohman, Katie Schoepfer, Lianne Sanderson, Sydney Leroux (Adriana Leon, 84’)
Subs not used: Colleen Boyd, Kyah Simon, Lisa-Marie Woods, Kate Howarth