The floodgates finally opened for the Boston Breakers, who secured a pair of goals through Lianne Sanderson en route to its first victory of the season, 3-2, over Sky Blue FC on Sunday at Harvard Stadium.
Julie King redirected Sanderson’s shot off the remnants of a corner kick into the goal for her first tally of the year and Boston’s (1-2-0, 3 points) first score of the game. The visitors tied the game through Monica Ocampo, though Sanderson gave the Breakers a lead they would not relinquish with goals in the 43rd and 60th minutes.
Sky Blue’s Ashley Nick cut Boston’s two-goal advantage in second half stoppage time when she scored off a corner kick, though the Breakers saw out the late-game rally.
“It feels good. It’s good to win. I think we have a lot more soccer in us,” Breakers coach Tom Durkin said in a team release. “Effort and attitude, they were a 10 out of 10, and the goals were good.”
Sloppy, unforced errors and an inability to control possession doomed the Breakers to consecutive losses in the first two games of the season. But on Sunday, the Breakers set the tone despite being out-shot 19-11. And Sanderson, who has been in form throughout April, gave the Breakers the offensive punch they needed to secure their first win.
“The most important thing was that we won,” Sanderson said in a team release. “Coming off the back of two losses, it’s not easy. But it’s important to keep believing in each other and the team and what Tom’s trying to do, and I think we all bought into what Tom’s trying to do, and we all believe in each other.”
Sanderson earned the corner kick that led to King’s goal in the 13th minute. Mollie Pathman served the ball into the box on the ensuing play and got cleared to Sanderson, who was about 25 yards from goal. She trapped the ball and fired, though King deflected it past Skye Blue goalkeeper Jill Loyden.
Ocampo controlled a feed from Taylor Lytle, rounded Ashley Grove, and fired a shot past Boston goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to equalize in the 29th minute.
But Sanderson opened her scoring account in the 43rd minute, going in alone on goal off a feed from King and chipping the ball over Loyden for the 2-1 advantage.
Sanderson got her brace in the 60th minute, firing a drive past Loyden to make it 3-1.
Though Nick was able to pull one goal back by heading in Freel’s late corner kick, Durkin was satisfied with his team’s performance. Meanwhile, King said that getting on the board first paved the way to the club’s first trio of points.
“I felt like we got off to a good start in this game,” King said in a team release. “We stuck with it. We wanted to get a streak going tonight. It’s important to get that first win. I think everyone was really on board with that mindset.”
Boston will play Sky Blue FC again on May 3 in Piscataway, NJ. They return home to play the Chicago Red Stars on May 15.