New England Soccer Today

Sanderson Helps Breakers Bounce Back

Breakers' midfielder Lianne Sanderson collected three assists in Saturday's 3-0 win over Washington. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

Breakers’ midfielder Lianne Sanderson collected three assists in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Washington. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

One week after the demise of their season-opening, four-game unbeaten run, the Boston Breakers returned home to Dilboy Stadium in spectacular fashion by routing the Washington Spirit, 3-0, in front of a sellout crowd.

Heather O’Reilly (38′), Katie Schoepfer (53′) and Kyah Simon (66′) all scored off of feeds from Lianne Sanderson to send the Breakers back to the win column following last week’s 2-0 loss to Kansas City FC.

“Obviously after last week’s defeat, we wanted to get the win,” said Sanderson in a team release. “You’re going to lose a game during the season, it’s just important how you bounce back, and I think we bounced back great tonight.”

Sanderson has been one of the team’s best offensive catalysts through the opening weeks of the season, though she’s been very much an unsung hero. On Saturday night, the Sanderson put her stamp on every one of the Breakers’ tallies to propel them to victory and up to third place in the NWSL Standings.

“I was happy to get three assists, but at the same time, it was an all-around great team performance,” Sanderson added. “I thought our defense was fantastic tonight. We looked really confident. We worked hard in training this week on confidence and touches on the ball, being comfortable on the ball, and not giving away possession. I think the girls did really great, especially the defense.”

Sanderson helped the Breakers net their first goal in the 38th minute, who flicked O’Reilly in behind the defense off a play set up by Simon. O’Reilly buried the feed past Washington’s Chantel Jones for the lead and her third goal of the season.

“She’s such an incredible number 10 for us. She’s very savvy on the ball, but her runs forward are just really threatening,” O’Reilly said of Sanderson in a team release. “She hasn’t scored yet this season, but I think everybody has seen how dangerous she is, and she’s setting everyone up with incredible goals. She’s smart. She knows the game. You can tell she’s been around high-level soccer her whole life.”

In the 53rd minute, the Breakers doubled their lead when Sanderson sent a cross into the penalty area from deep on the right flank. Schoepfer connected with Sanderson’s cross, firing a first-time shot past Jones for her second goal of the season.

Goal number three arrived in the 66th minute when Simon slotted another feed from Sanderson into the goal past Jones for her first goal of the season.

“I think Lianne has been our best performer, consistently,” Breakers head coach Lisa Cole said in a team release. “All the work she does on the ball and all the work she does off the ball. I’m just really proud of what she’s added to our team and how she’s added to her game. She’s been a really special (player for us).”

The Breakers will play first-place Sky Blue FC next on June 16.

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