A sold out crowd of 2,634 fans came out to Boston’s Dilboy stadium to cheer on the Breakers in their first game of NWSL season against the Washington Spirit.
The Breakers came out strong, having most of the possession in the opening minutes of the game, with some great combination play between the Breakers front line of Sydney Leroux, Lianne Sanderson and Kyah Simon.
However, the first goal came in the 15th minute for the Washington Spirit, on a counterattack, when Ingrid Wells sent a cross in from the right wing to Tiffany McCarty who headed in the goal past Breakers goalkeeper Ashley Phillips.
After the goal, the Breakers continued to have the majority of possession in the first half, however they did not manage to get many chances on net. The Breakers first shot on goal came in the 26th minute when Heather O’Reilley tried to chip Washington goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, in which Harris was able to make the stop. Spirit defender Ali Krieger made a great run back to track down Leroux in the 38th minute, stopping Leroux from having a chance on goal.
The half culminated when Spirit midfielder Diana Matheson unleashed a hard shot from 20 yards out that just hit the crossbar in the 41st minute.
The second half saw more of the same dominant possession by the Breakers, however strong defending from the Spirit and numerous great saves by Harris kept the Breakers goalless through regular time, including a diving save off of a O’Reilley shot in the 55th minute and a diving save off a Leroux shot in the 86th minute. Harris looked to be shaken up the save and took a few minutes to get up before play continued. She later tweeted she was fine.
In the 91st minute, the Breakers goal finally came, when Breakers Cat Whithill sent a ball to Elizabeth Guess, who found Leroux. Leroux calmly finished with her left foot into the Spirit’s goal.
The late Breakers goal was the last chance of the game, which ended in a 1-1 tie.
The 2,634 fans was a sold out crowd at Dilboy Stadium, and a recent letter from Boston Breakers General Manager Lee Billiard explained that the club is working to set up an additional 1,000 seats to the far side of the stadium to boost attendance figures. The Breakers expect these seats to be ready for their second home game on May 4th.
The next games for both teams are April 20th with Western New York Flash visiting the Washington Spirit (7:00pm local time) and the Boston Breakers travelling to FC Kansas City (7:35pm local time).
Washington Spirit (0-0-1, 1pts) at Boston Breakers (0-0-1, 1pts)
WAS: Tiffany McCarty (Stephanie Ochs) 15’
BOS: Sydney Leroux (Libby Guess) 91’
Washington: Ashlyn Harris, Kika Toulouse, Robyn Gayle, Ali Krieger, Lori Lindsey, Diana Matheson, Julia Roberts, Ingrid Wells (Domenica Hodak 80’), Tori Huster, Tiffany McCarty (Caroline Miller 85’), Stephanie Ochs
Subs not used: Jasmyne Spencer, Chantel Jones, Teresa Worbis, Candace Chapman, Colleen Williams
Boston: Ashley Phillips, Jo Dragotta (Lisa-Marie Woods 86’), Cat Whitehill, Kia McNeill, Rhian Wilkinson, Heather O’Reilly, Joanna Lohman, Kyah Simon (Libby Guess 75’), Katie Schoepfer, Lianne Sanderson, Sydney Leroux
Subs not used: Cecilia Santiago, Mariah Noguiera, Adriana Leon, Kate Howarth, Julie King