Breakers head out on three-game road trip

Open Friday night at FC Indiana

The Breakers hit the road for their longest stretch of away games this season, looking to secure three wins along the way to finish out a perfect first half of the season. The road trip begins Friday night against FC Indiana. The Breakers then play the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday before landing in Birdsboro, Pa., a week from Sunday to face the Philadelphia Fever.

But up first is a rematch with FC Indiana, a team that’s winless through its first four games. The first time these two teams met was back on May 18 in Somerville, and the Breakers took a decisive 4-1 victory behind two goals from Australian international Kyah Simon in front of a sold-out crowd in their home opener at Dilboy Stadium. Since that loss, FC Indiana has steadily improved despite suffering back-to-back shutouts to the Chicago Red Stars. They conceded an average of two goals, down from nearly four heading into those games.

"FC Indiana is team that gives us some unique challenges. They are physical and can create problems for you if given the opportunity," Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. "We will need to be good, make sure we take care of the ball, and control the tempo of the game to get a win at their place."

Friday’s game, which takes place at 7 p.m. ET at  Michael A. Carroll Stadium on the campus of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), will mark the third road game for the Breakers. They won their first two away games, beginning with a 3-0 season-opening victory over ASA Chesapeake Charge on May 10 and then a 1-0 win over the New York Fury on May 23. Rookie keeper Alice Binns picked up the wins and shutouts in both matches.

Keeper Alice Binns is 4-0 with a 1.00 goals against average this season (Photo by Mark Gardner)

The Breakers (4-0, 12 points) currently hold a comfortable lead atop the WPSL Elite standings, six points clear of the Fury (2-1, 6 points), although the Fury has a game in hand. They play tonight (Thursday, May 31) at home against the Philadelphia Fever, who are coming off their first loss of the season, a 3-2 defeat to the Charge. The Fury entered Thursday’s match with a 2-1 record. The Chicago Red Stars (2-0, 6 points) are tied on points with the Fury for second place in WPSL Elite, but trail on goal differential. However, they do have a game in hand. Their next game is this Sunday when they host the Breakers at North Central College in Napersville, Ill.

Heading into Friday’s game at FC Indiana, the Breakers boast league leaders in goals scored: Katie Schoepfer (6), assists: Simon (3), and points: Schoepfer (13). Four Breakers have played every minute of the first four games: captain and midfielder Leslie Osborne, defenders Cat Whitehill and Taryn Hemmings, and Binns. Defender Elli Reed is close behind, having played every minute in three matches.

Leslie Osborne is one of four Breakers to play every minute of every match this season (Photo by Mark Gardner)

This weekend, the Breakers will travel with 16 players before adding one more on Sunday. Australian international Tameka Butt is expected to join the team in Chicago. She missed Saturday’s game with a high ankle sprain, an injury she suffered against the Fury on May 23. Butt has two goals on the season.

Travel roster for weekend trip: Binns, Hemmings, Osborne, Whitehill, Reed, Simon, Schoepfer, Bianca D’Agostino, Amanda DaCosta, Courtney Jones, Julie King, Melissa Henderson, Jess Luscinski, Katherine Donnelly, Emma Thomson, and Kate Incerto.

Click here for Game Notes for Friday's match at FC Indiana

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