The Boston Breakers won their third game in a row to start the 2012 WPSL Elite season, this time taking down the New York Fury, 2-1, Wednesday night in Long Island, N.Y. Katie Schoepfer scored her team-leading third goal of the season, while Australian Tameka Butt tallied her second in the showdown for first place in the league.
The Breakers (3-0) took a 1-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the match when Butt scored off an assist from rookie Courtney Jones. It was Butt’s second goal in as many games. Schoepfer’s strike came in the 19th minute, getting an assist from Australian Kyah Simon.
"The way we came out and played, I was really happy with how we started," Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. "I’m excited how we rose to the challenge. I’m happy to get the win; it’s always good to get a road win against a good team."
The Fury, who started the season with wins over the New England Mutiny (1-1-1) and Western New York Flash (1-1-0), came into the game tied for first with the Breakers, separated by only goal differential for the league lead. They came out strong in the second half, and in the 66th minute, Merritt Mathias pulled the Fury within one with her league-leading fourth goal of the season. But Boston’s backline didn’t bend any further from there on out to secure the three points and take sole possession of first place in WPSL Elite.
"They changed their system and kind of went after us in the second half," Cole said. "We knew they were going for the win, so we settled in and changed our system to even things out."
Breakers lineup vs. the Fury:
Alice Binns, Courtney Jones (Julie King, 52’), Cat Whitehill, Taryn Hemmings, Elli Reed, Leslie Osborne, Amanda DaCosta, Bianca D’Agostino, Tameka Butt (Jessica Luscinski, 35’), Kyah Simon, Katie Schoepfer (Mary Frances-Monroe, 66’)
Subs not used: Katherine Donnelly, Emma Thomson, Kate Incerto
Notes: The 3-0 start is Boston’s best in franchise history (WPSL Elite, WPS, WUSA) ... Courtney Jones and Kyah Simon are tied for the team lead in assists (two each) ... Simon leads the team in points (six) ... Midfielder Leslie Osborne and defenders Cat Whitehill and Taryn Hemmings have played every minute of all three games, each leading the team in minutes played (270) ... Hemmings has now played in 15 straight games without a loss. Her team in Australia’s W-League in 2011/12, Canberra United, went undefeated in its 12-game season ... University of Notre Dame star Melissa Henderson arrives in Boston Thursday to begin training with the Breakers. She could be available to play as early as Saturday ... The Breakers return home to face the Western New York Flash Saturday at 6 p.m. at a sold-out Dilboy Stadium.