Courtney Jones scored early, but the Chicago Red Stars responded with a trio of goals to hand the Boston Breakers a 3-1 loss at Harvard Stadium on Thursday.
Jones put the Breakers on the board in the 19th minute, but Lori Chalupny leveled it in the 44th minute. The second half saw the Red Stars pull away with goals from Michelle Wenino and Jen Hoy in the 52nd and 67th minutes, respectively.
“It’s difficult to figure out exactly what happens between training and (games),” Breakers coach Tom Durkin said in a team release. “We probably had our best week of training. My confidence was really high coming into this game. I don’t know what it is about league matches, but we cave.”
The loss keeps the Breakers in seventh place with a 1-4-0 (3 points) record, while the Red Stars climbed to fourth place with a record of 3-2-1 (10 points).
Boston secured its early lead when Jazmine Reeves combined with Heather O’Reilly, who fired a shot that was initially stopped by Karina LeBlanc. But the rebound spilled to Jones, and the Breakers’ defender didn’t miss, much to the supporters’ delight.
The Red Stars leveled it before the break when Adriana Leon headed it centrally for Chalupney, who pushed it through to make it one apiece in the 44th minute.
Chicago used a dangerous free kick to grab the game-winner when Vanessa DiBernardo found Wenino, whose header hit the post. But after a frantic scramble, she sent her second effort through in the 52nd minute.
Hoy capped the scoring in the 72nd minute when she latched onto a long ball from Samantha Johnson, went at goal, and chipped keeper Alyssa Naeher to net the guests’ third goal of the game.
“At this point, everybody is on a different page,” Breakers defender and assistant coach Cat Whitehill said in a team release. “We have our tails between our legs. There’s no confidence on the ball.
“We have a lot of really good players out there, and they just need to keep their heads up and have confidence to play the game. The tactics are there. It’s the technical part. People are good enough. We are just not doing enough.”
Boston will get another crack at the Red Stars on Sunday at Harvard Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30pm.