After going down, 1-0, early and losing a key piece of the starting back line due to an injury less than 15 minutes into the match, the Breakers had a tough time recovering. And despite a late goal to get back into the game, the Breakers came up just short against the Chicago Red Stars in the WPSL Elite semifinals. The 3-1 loss Wedneday night at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., ended Boston’s phenomenal run, one that led the Breakers to the WPSL Elite regular season title.
"We just didn’t have it. We were outmanned in the midfield. We needed people to step up, and it didn’t happen. We had too many pieces missing with Cat (Whitehill) missing and losing Courtney (Jones) early," Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. "We came out and had a good attack (in the second half), and they countered, and our midfield didn’t recover."
Jess Luscinski wins a 50-50 ball in the midfield against Chicago Wednesday night (Photo by Mark Novak)
Lauren Fowlkes opened the scoring for the Red Stars, putting home a corner kick by Lori Chalupny. The score remained 1-0 in favor of Chicago entering the second half, but less than 10 minutes in, Chalupny took a feed from Ella Masar to take a 2-0 advantage. Julianne Sitch combined with Masar to set up the third and final Chicago goal, which came in the 66th minute. Prior to that goal, Boston nearly pulled within one. Seconds after entering the game in the 56th minute, Australian midfielder Tameka Butt came close to scoring on her first touch of the game, latching onto a loose ball in the corner, but her shot was stopped by Chicago keeper Jamie Forbes.
Elli Reed looks upfield during Boston’s loss to Chicago Wednesday (Photo by Mark Novak)
The Breakers made a late push and scored in the 80th minute. After a failed clearance by Chicago, the Breakers took advantage of the miscue. Amanda DaCosta, in her return from a high ankle sprain that sidelined the midfielder for the past two weeks, scored her first goal of the season, which made it a 3-1 game. But the Red Stars held on for the win, which sends them to the WPSL Elite Championship against the Western New York Flash, who beat the New York Fury, 2-1, in the first semifinal Wednesday night.
Lauren Fowlkes (Lori Chalupny) 14’
Lori Chalupny (Ella Masar) 54’
Ella Masar (Julianne Sitch) 66’
Amanda DaCosta (Unassisted) 80’
Chicago: Jamie Forbes, Mary Therese McDonnell, Lauren Fowlkes, Jackie Santacaterina (Lauren Alkek 90’), Michelle Wenino, Julianne Sitch (Shayla Mutz 81’), Alyssa Mautz, Lori Chalupny, Jen Buczkowski, Ella Masar (Ashlee Elliott 90’), Michele Weissenhofer (Ashleigh Ellenwood 75’)
Boston: Alice Binns, Courtney Jones (Katherine Donnelly 13’), Taryn Hemmings, Julie King, Elli Reed, Leslie Osborne, Bianca D’Agostino (Amanda DaCosta 59’), Melissa Henderson, Jess Luscinski (Tameka Butt 56’), Kyah Simon, Katie Schoepfer
Shots: Chicago 12, Boston 7
Shots on Goal: Chicago 6, Boston 4
Fouls: Chicago 7, Boston 2