May 17, 2014 – The home action for the Boston Breakers is set to continue this Sunday (kickoff at 6:30 p.m. ET) as they take on the Chicago Red Stars for the second time in four days at Harvard Stadium. Sunday's match follows a 3-1 victory for Chicago on Thursday evening.
The loss for the Breakers meant Tom Durkin’s team fell to 1-4-0, and with three more home games in a row to come after this, a swift upturn in fortune is eagerly sought. Before FC Kansas City, the Portland Thorns, and Washington Spirit all come to Harvard, Boston looks to find a way to avenge Thursday’s defeat to the Red Stars.
Courtney Jones’ first goal of the season came on 19 minutes after an impressive link-up between Heather O’Reilly and professional debutant Jazmine Reeves. Just as they had in the home opener with the Houston Dash, however, the Breakers came up short after taking the lead. On the stroke of halftime, Chicago midfielder and captain Lori Chalupny profited from a cushioned header by former Boston forward Adriana Leon following a Jen Hoy cross from the right. Going in 1-1 at the interval, the Red Stars put their hosts on their heels with two goals in 15 minutes. Defender Michelle Wenino headed a 52nd-minute Vanessa DiBernardo free-kick onto the bar before putting away the rebound for 2-1. A long ball out of defense by Samantha Johnson then found Hoy, who lobbed Breakers keeper Alyssa Naeher with 67 minutes on the clock.
Julie King and the Breakers look to get back in the win column Sunday (Photo By Mike Gridley)
Chicago improved to 3-2-1 with the result, while Boston fell to 1-4-0, but the Breakers remain ahead of last-place Houston. Disappointingly for Boston, Chicago doubled its goal tally from three to six for the season in Thursday’s match. Despite Jones’ strike, the Red Stars have only given up four goals in the first six games. Canada goalkeeper and one-time Breakers player in the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), Karina LeBlanc, made two saves while Naeher registered three.
Chicago's Canadian striker Melissa Tancredi missed the last game and she is also unavailable for the upcoming Breakers match. Defender Taryn Hemmings, another former Boston player, continues her comeback from last year’s ACL injury while vastly experienced U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx is also not expected to feature as she works her way back to full fitness following the birth of her first child earlier this year.
Encouragingly, Boston was able to give a team debut to Hanson, Mass. native Kristie Mewis last time out. The 23-year-old midfielder played 72 minutes after returning from an ankle injury. Alongside U.S. Women’s National Team colleague Heather O’Reilly and goalscorer Jones, Mewis was the only Breakers player to manage a shot on target against Chicago, although O’Reilly headed just wide late on. A recent arrival from Houston Dash, Nikki Washington, was involved in some promising play on the right of Boston’s midfield after making her debut from the bench on the hour.
Before Sunday’s game, the Breakers Reserves will take on the Boston Breakers College Academy at Harvard Stadium at 3 p.m., and admission is free. It is also High School Seniors Night, so tickets are available for just $10 to students with school ID.
You can follow the action from Harvard Stadium between the Breakers and the Chicago Red Stars live on YouTube (6.30 p.m. ET start) this Sunday. Tickets can also be purchased for the next home game, with FC Kansas City on Sunday, May 25 (kickoff 7 p.m. ET) from www.breakerstickets.com or by calling 617-945-1704. Click HERE for Sunday's Game Notes.
- By Chris Brookes