The Reserves Take a Shot at Playoffs
Katie Ponce I July 15, 2015
This week is an exciting week for the Boston Breakers Reserve team, and I want to take the time to talk this week about the exciting weekend we have ahead of us. For the second year in a row, the Reserve team has come out of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Northeast Division undefeated.
This year, the Reserve team has been seeded No. 1 and will be hosting the regional playoffs. The playoffs will be held at Hormel Stadium in Medford, Mass. this Saturday and Sunday (July 18 and 19). Coming away with a victory both days will mean the Reserves may have a chance to go to the WPSL final four and compete for a WPSL championship. Before we get ahead of ourselves, the Reserves have their first game to focus on against Yankee United FC, the top team from the Mid-Atlantic Division. Francesco D’Agostino, the head coach of the Reserves, has been preparing the Reserve team all season and is confident heading into this weekend.
The Boston Breakers Reserve team opens the 2015 WPSL playoffs Saturday night.
“I think we deserve to be seeded No. 1. I don't think anyone else can do the damage we can in the postseason,” he said. “We have started to play better as the season as gone on with individuals like Riley [Houle] stepping up. If we do what I know we can do we have a chance at this.”
While being associated with a professional team has had many advantages, the Boston Breakers system is meant to help girls move up to the professional team. D’Agostino noted that the more people who leave the team for professional opportunities, the better he is doing at his job. This balance of creating a good team, but still helping players move to the professional level is exactly what D’Agostino has to keep in mind. This summer, players have come and gone in order to chase their love of the game. However, those of us left have been pushed all summer long.
“[Breakers Head Coach] Tom (Durkin), does a great job of letting us train with the first team. This is the best thing for us because we get to play great competition every week,” D’Agostino said. “It's exactly what we need - to get a challenging scrimmage every week. That’s what European teams do. They play Thursday before their weekend match, and we’re lucky to have that. And when [the team] listens to Tom, they see results. When girls apply what he tells them, they will get better. Then if every year, two girls are being pulled up, mission accomplished.”
I personally believe that this competitive environment here at the Breakers has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and allowed me to improve my game. Not many teams in our league can also say that they practice against professionals every day. The list of teams that are joined by professionals is definitely even smaller.
This is not the first year that the Reserves have made it out of their division. Just last season, the Reserves also went undefeated, but because they did not hold the No. 1 seed in the region, they had to travel down to Maryland, home of WPSL team ASA Charge. Both the Reserves and the Charge were meant to meet in the finals, but both teams were upset in the first round of playoffs. Luckily this year, the Reserves don’t have the same odds against them.
“Playing at home is big advantage,” D’Agostino said.
Still being at home with all the talent in the world won’t help this team advance if we don’t want it. The bottom line is in order to move on from this weekend, the Boston Breakers Reserve team will need to prove its desire.
“I really think if we stick to our plan, and if we can play to our ability, there is no question we will win. We have beaten teams in the past that are going to be a part of these playoff games,” D’Agostino said. “A lot of things still need to go right to come out with a win. I am counting on us to stay together whether we go up or down a goal. Having good chemistry, willing to fight for one another, never giving up - these are the keys to winning this weekend.”
Look out to see if the Reserves will be headed to the finals or come out and see for yourself. Join us this Saturday, July 18, at 5 p.m. at Hormel Stadium, in Medford, Mass. Unfortunately, the Reserves are the only ones home this weekend, but it is also another great weekend to follow your Boston Breakers as the pro team travels to the Midwest to play the Chicago Red Stars Saturday night. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram so you can see their game results.