Allston, MA (April 15, 2011) - The Boston Breakers (1-1-0) were unable to come back from a two-goal deficit Sunday night against the expansion Western New York Flash (1-0-0) in their first home game of the season. A stoppage time goal in the second half from Kelly Smith came too late, and the Breakers dropped their first game of the year.
Both teams battled for possession in the early going, before the Flash had the first quality opportunity on goal. Ali Riley came down the left side and sent a sharp cross into the box, but Boston keeper Alyssa Naeher was right there to pick it off. Two minutes later, Naeher got some help from defender Stephanie Cox to keep the Flash off the scoreboard. Flash midfielder and Swedish international Caroline Seger took it in behind Naeher, who came out for the challenge, and Seger tried pushing the ball into the open net. But Cox came out of nowhere, slid along the goal line and cleared Seger’s shot from danger.
The Flash kept putting on the pressure, and in the 8th minute, forward Alex Morgan, the No.1 overall pick in the 2011 WPS Draft, ripped a shot on goal, but Naeher came up with a diving save.
Shifting the momentum into their favor, the Breakers nearly made it a 1-0 game in the 10th minute. Kelly Smith played a great through ball to Kelley O’Hara, overlapping on Smith’s right. The pass went right to O’Hara’s feet as she came streaking into the box, but her shot hit the side of the net.
Just past the 20-minute mark of the first half, the Flash threatened again, but once again, a heads-up move by Cox saved another goal. She cut off a cross from Christine Sinclair that was intended for Morgan.
Boston’s best scoring chance in the first half came in the 30th minute. Smith unleashed a left-footed shot from the top of the box, and it curled just wide and past the far post. The Breakers had one final attempt on goal before the first half ended, but O’Hara’s scissor kick off a cross from Lauren Cheney didn’t find the mark.
After controlling the run of play in the early part of the second half, the Flash capitalized on their momentum, and in the 64th minute, they scored their first goal in their WPS franchise history. Morgan placed a cross right to Sinclair’s feet and the Canadian international smashed it past Naeher to put the Flash ahead, 1-0. English international Gemma Davison made it a 2-0 game in stoppage time. Her low, driven shot from the right side of the box beat Naeher far post.
The Breakers went right at the Flash in the final moments of the game and scored before the final whistle. Smith scored her second goal of the season when she headed home the rebound of a blast from Cheney. Cheney’s shot ricocheted off the cross bar and right in front of goal where Smith easily knocked it home.
Tony DiCicco, Boston Breakers Head Coach:
“It was one of those games where whoever scored the first goal was going to be tough to beat. They got in on a counter attack. Alex Morgan did a good job of winning the ball and found Sinclair, and Sinclair knows what to do in front of goal. I was proud of the way our players played. I thought we had a good energy the whole game. I liked the way we responded when we went down, 1-0. I think if we go out with that type of mentality every game, we’ll get better and hopefully we’ll get some results.”
Aaran Lines, WNY Flash Head Coach
“Good start to the season. We played a little too deep in the first half, and they came at us. I thought we had the better opportunities. We created more. We went out second half and totally dominated and deservedly won the game. We played a three front with a lot of flexibility. It doesn’t matter who’s vacating one of the three positions. The players have that freedom in this system. We had two quality finishes. It could’ve been more.”
Christine Sinclair, WNY Flash forward
“They’re a stacked team, and to come here and get a win, it’s very positive. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come. Because of international duties, we haven’t played together too much during the preseason. We’re only going to improve with more time together.”
Boston Breakers (1-1-0) vs. Western New York Flash (1-0-0)
Sunday, April 17, 2011 — Harvard Stadium
Team 1 2 F
BOS: 0 1 1
WNY: 0 2 2
WNY: Christine Sinclair 1 (Alex Morgan) 66'
WNY: Gemma Davison 1 (Unassisted) 90+
BOS: Kelly Smith 1 (Unassisted) 90+
BOSTON BREAKERS — Alyssa Naeher, Alex Scott, Rachel Buehler, Amy LePeilbet (Ifeoma Dieke, 80'), Stephanie Cox (Elli Reed, 85'), Leslie Osborne, Keelin Winters, Kelley O'Hara, Taryn Hemmings (Liz Bogus, 69'), Lauren Cheney, Kelly Smith
Substitutes Not Used: Kasey Moore, Niki Cross, Claire Zimmeck, Ashley Phillips, Nikki Washington, Kelsey Davis, Katie Schoepfer, Leah Blayney
WESTERN NEW YORK FLASH — Ashlyn Harris, Candace Chapman, Whitney Engen, Ali Riley, Kandace Wilson, Brittany Bock, Becky Edwards, Caroline Seger, Kaley Fountain (Gemma Davison, 64'), Christine Sinclair, Alex Morgan (Kelly Parker, 90+)
Substitutes Not Used: Brittany Cameron, Beverly Goebel, Gina Lewandowski
Shots 8 16
Shots on Goal 4 8
Fouls 10 4
Offsides 2 2
Corner Kicks 4 4
Saves 6 3
WNY: Brittany Bock (Caution) 75'
Referee: Kari Seitz
Referee Assistants: Marlene Duffy, Veronica Perez
4th Official: Scott Kachmarik
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.