(July 26, 2014) – After a strong offensive showing in the first half, the Boston Breakers defeated the Western New York Flash in a 4-2 road victory last night at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester.
Prior to last night's match, the Breakers had played their seven previous games without a win, including a 2-1 loss to the Flash just one month before. The Flash was also without Abby Wambach last night as the USWNT star continues to recover from a knee injury.
Boston saw a few early chances in their attacking third during the opening minutes of play Friday night, but Western New York went on the board first when Jasmyne Spencer headed home a Carli Lloyd serve just outside the six yard line to put the Flash up 1-0 in the 14th minute.
The Western New York defense proceeded to hold off several Boston attempts to respond, but in the 28th minute, Lianne Sanderson settled a ball into the penalty box from Kristie Mewis, took a quick touch past Flash defender Brittany Taylor and found the back of the net to tie the game 1-1.
In an attempt to halt the Boston attack just a minute later, Taylor was called for a foul on forward Jazmine Reeves inside the box, resulting in a Breakers penalty kick.
Heather O'Reilly took the kick for Boston, placing the ball in the bottom left corner of the net to put the Breakers up 2-1.
After tripping up with Courtney Jones in a race down the sideline in the 38th minute, Western New York's Katherine Reynolds paused play with an ankle injury.
The Breakers capitalized on the numbers advantage seconds later when Reeves found the end of a ball from O'Reilly off a set-piece throw in, and headed it to the back of the net for Boston's third goal of the night.
Boston led 3-1 at the half, but in the 54th minute, Western New York maintained possession in their attacking third after a corner kick, and Lloyd buried a ball past Breakers keeper Alyssa Naeher off an assist from defender Haley Palmer. The assist marked Palmer's first professional point while the goal reduced Boston's lead to one.
The Flash continued to test the Breakers' defense throughout the second half, but Boston was able to contain the attack. Naeher had six key second half saves in the defensive effort, including a diving save to hold off a header from Lloyd in the 82nd minute that was bound for the back of the net.
The Breakers' offense responded with an attack of their own in the 86th minute. O'Reilly approached the Flash goal with speed after receiving a ball from midfielder Maddy Evans, and sent it past Western New York keeper Kelsey Wys for her second goal of the night and her team's fourth.
The Flash continued to fight through the match's remaining minutes as Spencer worked to find the net in the 87th, but the Breakers remained on top as the final whistle blew, making for a 4-2 victory and earning the Boston team three points and their first win since June 11.
They'll have a chance to do it all over again next Sunday, Aug. 3rd, when the Breakers return to Harvard Stadium and host Western New York on their home turf (kickoff 6:30 p.m. EST). To purchase tickets visit www.breakerstickets.com or call 617-945-1704.