New England Soccer Today

Breakers Outlast Charge 3-1

Breakers striker Kyah Simon scored for the 11th time in Friday’ 3-1 win over the Chesapeake Charge. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

SOMERVILLE, Mass. – At first glance, Friday’s 3-1 Breakers victory over the ASA Chesapeake Charge appears to have been a solid, if not expected, win for one of the best teams in WPSL Elite.

On the contrary, the Charge, who entered the match with the second-worst record in the WPSL Elite, refused to bow before the second-place Breakers, who fielded a mixture of regulars and reserves on Friday with another game looming less than 24 hours later.

“We went with a little bit of a different lineup,” said Breakers head coach Lisa Cole. “Not the best cohesion we’ve had as a team, but we got the win and that’s what’s important.”

“The goals were going to come, it was more about whether we were going to give up goals. We have a game tomorrow too. Put together a team that can win today, put together a team that can win tomorrow and be able to get both results.”

Despite the number of new faces in its starting XI, Boston struck first early. In the 16th minute, Heather O’Reilly crossed it to Kyah Simon, who volleyed the ball into the back of the net for her 11th goal of the season. O’Reilly and Katie Schoepfer missed opportunities from close range later on in the half, but only after the Charge dominated possession and often ventured into the Breakers’ end of the field.

The Charge had nothing to reward their first half efforts, though the tempo of the game bounced in their direction immediately after the second half began. In the 47th minute, Breakers defender Julie King watched Charge striker Cheyenne Skidmore sneak in behind her and before going in alone on backup keeper Alejandra Velasco. Skidmore approached the net confidently and slotted the ball past Velasco and into the goal to level the game.

The Breakers, however, wouldn’t allow it to stay level for long. In the 53rd minute, O’Reilly played a corner kick short to Courtney Jones, who was open on the left flank. Jones picked up her head and crossed into the thick of the penalty area, where it eventually found its way into the net after it managed to pass through the Charge defense without interruption.

Skidmore single-handedly sought out the equalizer in the wake of Jones’ goal. She shot over the crossbar (57′), hit the post (63′) and had a point-blank shot saved by Velasco (65′). In between, Hnatiuk sent a freekick from outside the penalty area curling toward goal that Velasco had to parry away.

Jess Luscinski helped the Breakers put the persistent Charge away by assisting on Melissa Henderson’s first career goal in the 71st minute. Henderson darted into the penalty area and collected a pass from Luscinski before firing into the back of the net.

“It was so great,” said Henderson. “I am so relieved. It’s so awesome to be on this pitch with the talented girls on this team. I am very thankful and blessed to be able to put that in the back of the net. I’m have to give the points to the team and help them out.”

The Breakers have already qualified for the playoffs, but another win on Saturday against New England would avoid a tougher draw. New England needs to win out to make the playoffs while the Charge have been eliminated.

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