Breakers edged by Flash in season finale

Wilkinson scores in 2-1 loss

  The Boston Breakers finished their 2013 National Women’s Soccer League season Saturday night at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., with a 2-1 hard-luck loss to Western New York. 

 The Boston Breakers finished their 2013 National Women’s Soccer League season Saturday night at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., with a 2-1 hard-luck loss to the Western New York Flash in front of 6,311 fans.

"I think if we came out and played the whole game like we played the second half, we would've at least tied the game," Breakers player/coach Cat Whitehill said. "We were a paint chip away from tying it with that Lianne Sanderson free kick (in the 90th minute). It was so close. It kind of sums up our season a little bit. We had a goal coming into this year that we really wanted to make the playoffs, and it was unfortunate that we came up a little bit short. But I'm proud of the way this team ended. Those last 45 minutes were inspiring to watch this team play. Everybody was giving it their all. Everybody left everything they had on that field. You could tell they wanted to end with at least a result. I'm just proud, proud of us for everything." 

The Flash jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half. In the 23rd minute, Samantha Kerr got on the end of an Abby Wambach pass and volleyed it past Breakers keeper Alyssa Naeher for the early advantage. Three minutes later, the Flash went up, 2-0, when Wambach connected on a header to beat Naeher. The Flash threatened again in the 33rd minute, but a shot by Carli Lloyd went off the bar. 

The Breakers had a pair of chances later in the first half, both by Whitehill. Her first attempt, a shot from distance in the 39th minute, went just wide, and in the 41st minute, her free kick was saved by Adrianna Franch.   

The Breakers prevented the Flash from taking an early lead when Julie King dropped back and headed a ball off the line in the eighth minute. It was a header taken by Katherine Reynolds off a cross from Wambach. King darted back, leapt up, and headed it out.

Minutes into the second half, Sydney Leroux broke free and went one-on-one with Franch, but her shot in the 48th minute was pushed wide. 

Joanna Lohman goes up for a header Saturday at Western New York (Photo by Mark Novak)

The Breakers pulled one back in the 53rd minute. It started off a corner kick from Heather O’Reilly. The ball dropped into the box, where Joanna Lohman headed it on goal, but it was blocked in front. Rhian Wilkinson, with her back to goal, headed it, and Franch made the save, but couldn’t maintain possession. Wilkinson reacted quickly and flicked it past Franch to cut Boston’s deficit in half at 2-1. It was Wilkinson’s second goal of the season. 

In the 65th minute, Boston was called for a foul in the box, awarding a penalty to Western New York, but Wambach was denied by Alyssa Naeher, who made a diving stop. In the 85th minute, the Breakers survived a scare but Jazmyne Avant made a clearance off the line to prevent a Flash goal 

The Breakers pushed hard for the equalizer, and nearly leveled in the 90th minute on a free kick by Lianne Sanderson. The Breakers were awarded the free kick on a handball just outside the box. Sanderson bent a shot that hit the crossbar.

Despite the loss, the Breakers finished the season with three wins and a draw in their final five matches, ending the season in fifth place with an 8-8-6 record.

BREAKERS at WNY FLASH STATS

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