The Boston Breakers began their 2012 WPSL Elite season exactly as they wanted - with a win. Goals by rookies Veronica Napoli and Jessica Luscinski and second-year Breaker Katie Schoepfer, all within the first 15 minutes of the game, sealed a 3-0 victory Thursday night over ASA Chesapeake Charge in Arnold, Md.
"I liked how we started, going out right away and scoring goals," Head Coach Lisa Cole said. "Overall, I was excited about the team’s first win. I was pleased with the back line. They were solid."
Defenders Cat Whitehill, Taryn Hemmings, Elli Reed, and rookie Courtney Jones kept the Charge from creating any serious threats, allowing rookie keeper and Dorchester, Mass. native Alice Binns to record the shutout.
Jones, who finished an illustrious career at the University of North Carolina this past fall, set up the first goal, which came in the 1st minute. She sent a ball in from the end line right to Napoli. Napoli, Northeastern University’s all-time leading scorer, took Jones’ cross and beat Charge keeper Lyndse Hokanson to give Boston an early lead.
Breakers defender Elli Reed cuts down the Charge
Less than 10 minutes later, the Breakers scored two goals in less than a minute. The first came from Schoepfer off an assist from Napoli in the 14th minute. Before the Charge had a chance to get re-organized, the Breakers scored again. This time it was Luscinski in the 15th minute. The two-time America East Striker of the Year at Boston University made it a 3-0 game, with the assist going to midfielder and captain Leslie Osborne. Osborne herself nearly scored, but her header off a corner kick near the 60-minute mark was saved by substitute keeper Erin Quinn.
Starting for the Charge were five highly touted high schoolers in Riley Barger, Shannon Collins, Maisie McCune, Ashley Spivey, and Alexis Prior-Brown. Once the Charge shook off their nerves, the game became more competitive for the home side. The Charge managed to force Binns off her line with a couple scoring opportunities. The Breakers remained on the attack and forced Quinn to make several saves in the second half.
Veronica Napoli (20) looks for Amanda DaCosta (right) in Thursday's win.
“I’m excited about what I saw last night," Charge GM Patrick Crawford said.”After we settled down and the girls adjusted to the pace of play, I saw a lot that I liked. We are one of the youngest teams this season but have built a young core squad to compete for years to come. Give credit to Boston, they are a great team. We now see what level we will have to play at to compete in this league. We are looking forward to traveling to Boston to play them again.”
Breakers starters: Alice Binns (GK), Cat Whitehill, Taryn Hemmings, Elli Reed, Courtney Jones, Amanda DaCosta, Bianca D’Agostino, Leslie Osborne, Veronica Napoli, Katie Schoepfer, Jessica Luscinski
Subs used (all in the second half): Julie King for Schoepfer; Katherine Donnelly for Luscinski; Emma Thomson for D’Agostino
Subs not used: None
Charge starters: Lyndse Hokanson (GK), Laura Kane, Cheyenne Skidmore, Riley Barger, Shannon Collins, Christine Nairn, Brittany Hadaway, Jess Hnatiuk, Maisie McCune, Ashley Spivey, and Alexis Prior-Brown.
Subs used: Erin Quinn (GK), Amanda Lebo, Erica Suter, Kaitlin Brooks, Lexie Niedoba
Subs not used: Nicole Wojcik
Corner kicks: Boston 2 Charge 2
Shots: Boston 10 Charge 4
Saves: Boston 3 Charge 7
Cautions: Charge (Riley Barger, yellow card); Breakers (Veronica Napoli, yellow card)
Notes: This was the first game in WPSL Elite history, which allowed the Breakers to make history in more ways than one. They became the first team in the league to record a win and shutout. Veronica Napoli became the first player to ever score in a WPSL Elite game. Courtney Jones had the league’s first assist. Keeper Alice Binns earned the league’s first shutout ... The Breakers head to the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday, May 12, to take on the DC United Women of the USL W-League in an exhibition match. The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. ET start. They return to WPSL Elite action on Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m., taking on FC Indiana in their home opener at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Mass.