By Kathryn Leeber
(June 24, 2017) – Looking to avenge last weekend’s loss to North Carolina, the Breakers came up just short against the Courage in a 1-0 loss in front of 3,209 fans at Jordan Field in Allston, Mass. Saturday afternoon.
“I thought we defended well (except) for one moment where we stepped out, and they exploited that,” said Boston Breakers head coach Matt Beard. “I felt in the second half we were OK. We cracked some good chances, but we just didn’t capitalize on them. We didn’t really allow them many opportunities.”
The game was scoreless right up until the 44th minute in a half that saw North Carolina tally 11 shots.
Following some early pressure from the Courage (8-3-0), Breakers keeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme, in her NWSL debut, made her first save in the 12th minute, a diving stop that ended an early threat.
Also in the first half, defenders Brooke Elby and Christen Westphal cleared the ball several times to stop any advances from North Carolina in the final third. Megan Oyster and Julie King maintained the solid back line in the early going.
North Carolina forward Taylor Smith had the Courage’s best opportunity to score in the first half, but sent the ball right into Prudhomme’s gloves in the 19th minute. A few minutes later, Kristen Hamilton attempted to set up Debinha, but Westphal and King were there to shut down the run.
The first real opportunity for the Breakers (2-6-2) came in the 35th minute as Emilie Haavi took a corner kick, but North Carolina goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland made a punching save to deflect the shot over the bar. Haavi attempted to follow up as she sent a pass to Adriana Leon, but it was just out of Leon’s reach. Morgan Andrews, in her second straight start, later sent a shot from a distance, but Rowland was able to snag it.
North Carolina got on the board with a minute remaining in the first half as Sam Mewis flicked a pass to Hatch, who beat Prudhomme for the 1-0 lead.
Trailing by one to start the half, the Breakers looked to put some pressure onto the Courage. Tiffany Weimer replaced Amanda Da Costa to start the second half and she made her presence known when she lofted a ball in the box to Natasha Dowie, who headed just wide of the net in the 59th minute.
The attempts kept coming for the Breakers, and they gathered 11 total shots in the second half, putting three solid chances on target. Boston’s next best opportunity came as Andrews sent a pass to Dowie, but the shot went directly to Rowland.
Ten minutes later, Mewis sought to extend North Carolina’s lead with a header, but the ball went just above the goal and bounced off the crossbar.
After coming in for Leon halfway into the second half, Margaret Purce tried to send a shot past Rowland in the 81st minute, but was unsuccessful. With an additional five minutes of stoppage time, Boston had a few last-chance efforts, including a cross from King that Rowland picked out of the air.
The Breakers head to Houston to take on the Dash on Wednesday, June 28, and return home Saturday, June 1, at 4 p.m. ET to face the Washington Spirit at Jordan Field in Allston, Mass. Tickets to all home games are available by calling 617-945-1704 or by visiting breakerstickets.com.
Notes: Defender and captain Julie King made her 97th appearance for the Breakers, inching closer to Kristine Lilly for most all-time as a Breaker. King is now just five appearances behind Lilly (102) … Rookie goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme made her NWSL debut and got her first start in the process.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Boston Breakers vs. North Carolina Courage
Date: June 24, 2017
Venue: Jordan Field, Allston, Mass.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Weather: 87 degrees, sunny
1 2 F
BOS 0 0 0
NC 1 0 1
NC – Ashley Hatch (Samantha Mewis) – 44’
BOS: 15-Sammy Jo Prudhomme; 8-Julie King (C), 20-Christen Westphal, 4-Megan Oyster, 3-Brooke Elby; 26-Angela Salem, 25-Morgan Andrews, 5-Amanda Da Costa (18-Tiffany Weimer, 45); 7-Emilie Haavi (22-Ifeoma Onumonu, 83), 9-Natasha Dowie, 19-Adriana Leon (21-Margaret Purce, 61)
Subs not used: 1-Libby Stout, 17-Amanda Frisbie, 30-Kylie Strom
Head Coach: Matt Beard
NC: 0-Katelyn Rowland; 13-Abby Dahlkemper, 6-Abby Erceg, 11-Taylor Smith, 15-Jaelene Hinkle; 10-Debinha (26-Samantha Witteman, 79), 3-Makenzy Doniak (4-Elizabeth Eddy, 86), 5-Samantha Mewis, 7-McCall Zerboni; 12-Ashley Hatch, 23-Kristen Hamilton
Subs not used: 1-Sabrina D’Angelo, 14-Lynn Williams, 9-Jessica McDonald, 22-Stephanie Ochs, 25-Meredith Speck
Head Coach: Paul Riley
Stats Summary: BOS / NC
Shots: 11 / 17
Shots on goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 8
Fouls: 15 / 7
Offside: 2 / 3
BOS – Megan Oyster (caution, 16’)
BOS – Tiffany Weimer (caution, 84’)
Referee: Rosendo Mendoza
Assistant Referee 1: Tom Felice
Assistant Referee 2: Amilcar Sicaju
Fourth Official: Lorant Varga