New England Soccer Today

Breakers Explode in 5-2 Win over Washington

Five different Breakers found the back of the net as Boston’s offensive explosion helped keep their playoff hopes alive in a 5-2 win over the Washington Spirit 5-2 at the Maryland Soccerplex on Saturday.

Heather O’Reilly, Lianne Sanderson, Mariah Nogueira, Rhian Wilkinson and Cat Whitehill all scored for Boston, which tied a franchise record for most goals in a game and snapped a two-game losing streak. Washington scored on goals from Diana Matheson and Conny Pohlers.

The Breakers’ win puts them four points out of the fourth and final playoff spot with just four games left in the season, and ahead of a clash next Saturday with the Western New York Flash, who currently occupy the final postseason spot.

“It was a great team effort,” Boston Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said in team release. “We talked about not relying on one person to score and how we need to share the responsibility, and we lived up to that today. We want to make sure we do a good job and put ourselves in a position (for the playoffs). We put all our heart and effort into this. And getting the three points and making up the goal differential was important.”

Despite the scoreline, Boston actually found themselves down early. Washington’s Diana Matheson scored just 78 seconds into the game, burying a one-on-one chance with Boston goalkeeper Ashley Phillips.

But the Breakers rallied to level the game in the 5th minute as Mariah Nogueira headed in a cross by O’Reilly for her third goal of the season. Boston then claimed the lead in the 42nd minute when Wilkinson flicked a ball across the penalty area for Sanderson, who slid the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-1.

Boston extended their lead early in the second half. In the 49th minute, Wilkinson scored her first career goal by picking up a rebound from a shot by Joanna Lohman and slotting it into the back of the net. In the 57th minute, Boston was awarded a penalty kick that O’Reilly converted for the 4-1 lead and her fourth goal of the season.

The Spirit showed signs of life, scoring a goal in the 73rd minute when Conny Pohlers headed in a cross from Stephanie Ochs to trim Boston’s lead to two goals.

Boston re-established their dominance in the 78th minute as Whitehill pounced on a miscleared corner kick and banged the loose ball into the back of the net to make it 5-2. It was Whitehill’s first goal of the season and an emphatic finish.

Leave a Reply