(April 16, 2016) – The Boston Breakers opened the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League season Saturday night on the road against the Washington Spirit. An early goal by the hosts held up as the game-winner as the Spirit took a 1-0 win in front of 3,578 at the Maryland Soccerplex.
Joanna Lohman scored what turned out to be the lone goal of the game in the third minute. Getting an assist from Crystal Dunn, the former Breaker put Washington on the board with a bicycle kick in front of goal.
The Breakers came to life after going down early and had a few chances to level the match during the first half. In the 11th minute, Kristie Mewis sent a cross right in front of goal to Stephanie McCaffrey, and McCaffrey hit it just wide of Washington goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe. Mewis took a shot of her own in the 21st minute, rocketing one from distance, but Labbe made the stop. Two minutes later, Louise Schillgard, making her NWSL debut, took a corner to the left of Labbe and her shot curled in on goal, and somehow, Labbe caught it inches before it crossed the line.
Stephanie McCaffrey tracks down Crystal Dunn in Saturday night's match at Washington
The Breakers found themselves more on the defensive end in the second half, not getting as many opportunities going forward, however, the back line and goalkeeper Libby Stout, in her NWSL debut, did well to keep the Spirit from adding to their lead. Stout finished the match with six saves, including a tremendous stop on Cali Farquharson in the 85th minute.
The Breakers return to Boston to prepare for their home opener (April 24) against Seattle Reign FC. Tickets can be purchased by calling 617-945-1704 or by visiting www.breakerstickets.com.
Notes: Tonight marked the professional debuts of Christen Westphal and Brittany Ratcliffe, who both were selected by the Breakers in the 2016 NWSL College Draft. Both players came off the bench in the second half … Louise Schillgard, Libby Stout, and Brooke Elby made their NWSL debuts. Schillgard and Stout started and Elby came on in the 81st minute … Defender Julie King made her 71st appearance for the Breakers, pulling to within four of tying Angela Hucles for fourth all-time in franchise history … With her start tonight, McCall Zerboni became the first female soccer player in U.S. history to play in eight professional seasons here in the states. Her career began in 2009 with the Los Angeles Sol … Despite the loss, the Breakers still hold the lead in their overall series against the Spirit, 4-2-4. Saturday was the first loss for the Breakers against the Spirit at the Soccerplex.
Match: Boston Breakers at Washington Spirit
Date: April 16, 2016
Venue: Maryland Soccerplex, Boyds, Md.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: 68 degrees, sunny
BOS: Libby Stout, Julie King (Christen Westphal, 80), Kassey Kallman (C), Whitney Engen (C), Mollie Pathman (Brooke Elby, 81), McCall Zerboni, Angela Salem, Kristie Mewis, Louise Schillgard (Brittany Ratcliffe, 73), Stephanie McCaffrey, Kyah Simon
Subs not used: Abby Smith, Morgan Marlborough, Stephanie Verdoia, Rachel Wood
WAS: Stephanie Labbe, Ali Krieger (C), Megan Oyster, Shelina Zadorsky, Caprice Dydasco, Joanna Lohman, Tori Huster, Christine Nairn, Crystal Dunn, Katie Stengal (Cali Farquharson, 64), Estefania Banini (Diana Matheson, 75)
Subs not used: Whitney Church, Estelle Johnson, Alyssa Kleiner, Cheyna Williams, Kelsey Wys
GOALS 1 2 F
Boston (0-1-0) 0 0 0
Washington (1-0-0) 1 0 1
Goal Time Team Goal Scorer Assist
1 3 WAS Joanna Lohman Crystal Dunn
SHOTS ON GOAL
WAS: Megan Oyster (caution, 86’)
Referee: Margaret Domka
Assistant Referees: Ben Wooten, Jeffrey Skinker
Fourth Official: Rachel Woo