Boston Breakers (2-1-2, 8pts) vs. Washington Spirit (1-3-3, 6pts)
Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm EDT
Dilboy Stadium, Somerville, Massachusetts
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Twitter – @WashSpirit @BostonBreakers
On Saturday, the Boston Breakers will face the Washington Spirit in an important match for both clubs. The Breakers will be looking for victory in order to show that last week’s 2-0 loss to FC Kansas City, their first of the season, was an anomaly. Meanwhile, the Spirit are in desperate need of points since they are currently in sixth place and have only recorded one win.
The Breakers and Spirit have already developed a balanced rivalry with two draws through two matches. On opening weekend, the Spirit gained an early lead courtesy of a Tiffany McCarty strike but was forced to settle for the draw after Sydney Leroux scored a stoppage time equalizer. In week five, Boston’s Joanna Lohman and Washington’s Lori Lindsey traded goals which forced the teams to share the points.
With such a balanced past, it will be important for the big names to have solid performances in order to break the deadlock. For the Breakers, Leroux will need to continue the form that earned her a national team call up. The 23 year-old has scored four goals and added one assist in five appearances. Many of her goals have been orchestrated by Lianne Sanderson whose three assists make her one of the best playmakers in the league. Heather O’Reilly provides another threat for the Breakers as she has scored two goals from her midfield position.
Conversely, the Spirit will look for influential performances from Lindsey, McCarty and Diana Matheson. Although two goals have come from the penalty spot, Matheson has matched Leroux’s offensive output with four goals through seven games. Meanwhile, McCarty has been the team’s best forward with two goals, including the game winner against the Seattle Reign. Lindsey has done a nice job setting up goals and has two assists this season.
Goals are almost guaranteed on Saturday since both teams have found the back of net on a consistent basis while doing a subpar job of stopping the opposition. The Breakers have scored eight goals and have only been denied in one game. Likewise, the Spirit has only been shut out on one occasion with nine total goals scored. Neither team has been able to keep a clean sheet this season.
Furthermore, the Breakers and the Spirit have the ability to put on a high scoring thriller. On May 4, the Breakers became the first team in NWSL history to score four goals in a game when they defeated the Chicago Red Stars 4-1. The match featured a Leroux hat trick after Katie Schoepfer opened up the scoring early on. The Spirit matched the Breaker’s offensive feat in week six when they earned a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Reign. The team had a varied attack that night with McCarty, Matheson, Teresa Noyola and Tori Huster all chipping in goals.
A win on Saturday would allow the Spirit to move past the Breakers in the standings. Meanwhile, a Breakers victory would help the team return to their winning ways while also reaffirming their status as one of the best teams in the league.