Washington Spirit (1-11-4, 7pts) vs Boston Breakers (5-7-5, 20pts)
Saturday, 7:00pm EDT
Maryland SoccerPlex / Boyds, Md.
REFEREE: Kara Honthumb
The Breakers come into their match this weekend against the Spirit needing to claim all three points, and although on paper it may look like a guarantee, Washington is a much better club than their record shows.
In their last match versus the Chicago Red Stars, the Spirit put on a gutsy performance and would’ve left the Benedictine Sports Complex with at least a draw if it weren’t for an own goal in the 55th minute. The NWSL Fans’ Choice MVP for Week 15, Spirit keeper Ashlyn Harris, made seven saves against the high shooting Red Stars to keep her club in the match. Harris has a 1.714 goals-against average in the 14 matches she’s started, however her team has only scored a total of 11 goals (0.788 goals per match) when she’s in the net.
As for the Breakers they come into the match basically needing to win out in their remaining five matches to make the playoffs after going 0-4-1 in the month of July so far. After today’s match with the Spirit, the Breakers will meet up with fourth place Western New York Flash (twice), third place Portland Thorns FC and first place FC Kansas City, four matches that will really test this team to see if they have what it takes to make the playoffs.
Ashley Phillips has taken over goaltending duties from injured Alyssa Naeher (broken nose) and going from the latest NWSL injury report, should be in goal again as Naeher is listed as doubtful for the match. If this is the case, look for the Breakers to get on the board early and often to give Phillips and the backline a little breathing room.
Prediction: 3-1 in favor of the Breakers with goals by Leroux (two) and Joanna Lohman for the Breakers and Stephanie Ochs for the Spirit.