Sydney Leroux's hat trick sinks Chicago in front of record crowd

 Sydney Leroux scored the first hat trick in National Women’s Soccer League history, leading the Boston Breakers to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Red Stars in front of a record crowd of 3,113 at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Mass. The Breakers remain unbeaten on the season at 2-0-1, while the Red Stars fall to 0-2-1.


Sydney Leroux scored the first hat trick in National Women’s Soccer League history, leading the Boston Breakers to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Red Stars in front of a record crowd of 3,113 at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Mass. The Breakers remain unbeaten on the season at 2-0-1, while the Red Stars fall to 0-2-1.

"We really came together as a team. It was great to be back in Boston, and to have all these fans here cheering for us was really cool,” Leroux said. “I think the team played amazing, and obviously I wouldn’t have the goals without my teammates.”

Sydney Leroux scores her third goal of the game (Photo: Mike Gridley)

Katie Schoepfer got the Breakers on the scoreboard first with a goal in the 20th minute, six minutes before Leroux scored the first of her three goals. On Schoepfer’s goal, her first of the season, Lianne Sanderson played Schoepfer wide and the Breakers veteran beat Chicago keeper Erin McLeod far post for the 1-0 lead. It was Sanderson’s second assist of the season and second in as many games.

"I don’t think there’s anything like scoring in front of your home fans. I thought it was a big goal for the team and a big goal for the game, and I was excited to score it,” Schoepfer said. “It was a combination of a team effort. (The crowd) made the atmosphere even better. We love playing at home. We have a goal of staying undefeated at home, and the crowd really helps us out with that.”

In the 26th minute, Heather O’Reilly played a short corner to Mariah Nogueira, who flicked a header toward goal, but as the ball started going wide, Leroux redirected past McLeod for the 2-0 advantage. Chicago pulled one back in the second half when Zakiya Bywaters took a pass from Lori Chalupny and zipped it past Breakers keeper Ashley Phillips in the 61st minute.

Ashley Phillips punches a cross away from danger (Photo: Mike Gridley)

Leroux scored her second of the game in the 74th minute, picking the ball from the feet of Carmelina Moscato at midfield and sprinting full steam toward the Chicago goal. McLeod came well off her line to cut down the angle, but Leroux managed to sneak it around the Canadian keeper for the 3-1 lead. Leroux capped her hat trick in the 84th minute, played in perfectly by Kyah Simon, and beat McLeod far post.  

“It’s really good to be back home and to get a win, and just the way we played was pretty impressive,” Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. “I liked how Syd was changing up her game, running in behind, and coming inside to get a goal. It was a good performance.”

The sold-out crowd was the largest in Dilboy Stadium history in any sporting event. It was Boston’s ninth straight sellout and its highest single-game attendance since Aug. 14, 2011, when the Breakers beat Sky Blue FC in front of 4,289 in a 2-0 win over Sky Blue FC at Harvard Stadium.

“When we score a goal, it was amazing,” Leroux said of the crowd. “I think they were more excited than we were. Our fans are awesome.”

The Breakers next play on Saturday, May 11, at 7 p.m., on the road against the Washington Spirit, followed by another road game, Saturday, May 18, at FC Kansas City. They return home on Saturday, May 25, for a rematch with the Washington Spirit. Tickets may be purchased at www.breakerstickets.com.

 

STATS 
Shots: Boston 12, Chicago 7 
Shots on goal: Boston 10, Chicago 4 
Saves: Boston: Ashley Phillips (3); Chicago: Erin McLeod (6) 
Corners: Boston 8, Chicago 4
Offsides: Chicago 7, Boston 2
Cautions: Boston: none; Chicago: none
Fouls: Chicago 8; Boston 3

Ejections: none

Goals:

BOS: Katie Schoepfer (Lianne Sanderson) 20’

BOS: Sydney Leroux (Heather O’Reilly, Mariah Nogueira) 26’ 

CHI: Zakiya Bywaters (Lori Chalupny) 61’

BOS: Sydney Leroux (unassisted) 74’

BOS: Sydney Leroux (Kyah Simon) 84’

Lineups

Chicago: Erin McLeod, Lydia Vandenbergh, Michelle Wenino (Jessica McDonald, 86’), Carmelina Moscato, Rachel Quon, Leslie Osborne, Alyssa Mautz (Jackie Santacaterina, 62’), Lori Chalupny, Zakiya Bywaters, Maribel Dominguez (Lauren Fowlkes, 70’), Ella Masar

Subs not used: Taylor Vancil, Julianne Sitch 

Boston: Ashley Phillips, Julie King, Cat Whitehill, Kia McNeill, Jo Dragotta, Mariah Nogueira, Heather O’Reilly (Adriana Leon, 88’), Joanna Lohman, Lianne Sanderson, Katie Schoepfer (Kyah Simon, 67’), Sydney Leroux (Kate Howarth, 90’)

Subs not used: Cecilia Santiago, Rhian Wilkinson, Lisa-Marie Woods, Melinda Mercado

Attendance: 3,113

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