Kyah Simon’s fourth goal of the season, coming in the 44th minute, was the only goal of the game, but it was the goal that mattered most. The Australian striker rocketed a shot past Philadelphia keeper Michelle Dalton to give the Breakers a 1-0 win over the Fever and kept Boston in first place in WPSL Elite.
"It was good to get the three points on the road. I was happy with some of the improvements we made in our game, especially with our back four," Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. "But we need to be better with our final pass and picking up second balls. Then, the most important thing was finishing our chances. Shep (Katie Schoepfer) has been doing that for us this year, but those chances fell to other people in this game, and we just need them to take them better and this game’s scoreline is much different. But we’ll take the three points and look to improve over the next week."
With her goal, Simon is now third in WPSL Elite with four goals, one back of NY Fury’s Merritt Mathias. Simon also has three assists, giving her 11 points, good for second in the league behind Breakers forward Katie Schoepfer, who has 17 points (8 goals, 1 assist).
The winless Fever (0-4-1) proved a thorn for the Breakers in their final third, with Dalton turning away numerous shots. But the Breakers held on for the win, which pushes their record to a league-best 6-1 (18 points). The Breakers were temporarily tied for first with the Chicago Red Stars after the Red Stars beat ASA Chesapeake Charge, 5-0, earlier in the day. The Red Stars improved to 5-0 (15 points) and sit in second place with two games in hand, followed by the Fury (4-2-1, 13 points) in third place and both the Western New York Flash and New England Mutiny tied for third with matching 2-2-1 (7 points) records.
Kyah Simon scored her fourth goal of the season in Sunday’s win over the Fever (Photo By Mark Gardner)
In Sunday’s game at Daniel Boone High School in Birdsboro, Pa., Boston opened strong against the winless Fever, but Dalton stopped early shots by Cat Whitehill and Bianca D’Agostino. Simon and fellow Aussie Tameka Butt, back in the lineup for her second game following an ankle injury, added their own shots on goal to keep up the pressure. At the other end, Laura Di Clemente challenged Breakers’ goalkeeper Alice Binns, just missing from outside the 18, and Madison Clemens’s shot went just wide. For Binns, it was her fourth shutout of the season, tied for first in WPSL Elite with Chicago’s Jamie Forbes.
Both teams returned to the pitch for the second half with renewed effort, Boston looking to widen the gap and Philadelphia trying to find the equalizer. In spite of determined back-and-fort action, neither team could find the key to score and the game ended with Boston on top by the 1-0 margin.
“The Boston Breakers have a strong organization behind their team,” Fever Head Coach Ulises Terrones said. “Their overall structure and organization is impressive, from having people arriving very early on game day to their top quality international players on the field."
The Breakers are off until June 20, when they meet the New England Mutiny for the first time this season. The game is set for a 7 p.m. start at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville. To purchase tickets, go to www.breakerstickets.com.
Lineup for Boston:
Starters: Alice Binns, Cat Whitehill, Taryn Hemmings, Courtney Jones, Julie King, Leslie Osborne, Bianca D’Agostino, Jess Luscinski (Emma Thomson, 87’), Tameka Butt (Lindsey Massengale, 75’), Kyah Simon, Katie Schoepfer
Subs not used: Katherine Donnelly