Late PK Rips Win Away from Breakers

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz


Heather O’Reilly converted a pair of early penalties, but a Diana Matheson strike from the spot leveled it late to force the Breakers and Spirit settle for a wild and weather-delayed 3-3 draw at Maryland SoccerPlex on Wednesday.

O’Reilly tallied in the fourth and seventh minutes, while Jazmine Reeves added one of her own in the 45th minute. But Jodie Taylor helped the Spirit climb back into it with a goals in the 28th and 56th minutes, while Matheson capped it the scoring from the spot in the 91st minute.

Maddy Evans’ 70th minute red card left the Breakers shorthanded for the final 20 minutes. The match was delayed for 30 minutes midway through the second half after lightning was spotted within the vicinity of the stadium.

The draw extended the Breakers’ winless streak to four (0-2-2), with their last victory coming against the Spirit on Jun. 11. Matheson’s equalizer allowed the Spirit to avoid the loss column for the second straight match.

In a game that saw three penalty kicks awarded by referee Dimitar Chavdarov, O’Reilly collected the first in the fourth minute after Reeves was fouled inside the area. The longtime U.S. national teamer slotted it through, and added an encore three minutes later to give the guests an early two-goal advantage.

But the Spirit weren’t about to allow the Breakers run away with the game. Minutes before the half-hour mark, Lisa DeVanna sent a pass through to Taylor, who knocked it past Alyssa Naeher to cut the lead in half.

Reeves reclaimed Boston’s two-goal margin right before the break when Nkem Ezurike, who was fouled inside the 18 set up O’Reilly’s second strike from the spot, gave a ball in the box that the Breakers’ striker put into the back of the net.

Taylor scored her second goal in 56th minute after collecting the remnants Christine Nairn’s free kick and sending it through to put the Spirit within striking distance.

Not long after, lightning was spotted nearby, and the match was delayed for 30 minutes as both teams contemplated how to continue its offensive success.

The hosts’ efforts at an equalizer were further strengthened when Evans, who came on at halftime for Ezurike, was sent off in the 70th minute for a reckless foul.

Washington finally leveled it in stoppage time after Taylor was brought down inside the box, and Chavdarov pointed to the spot for the third and final time. Shortly after, Matheson stepped up and sent it through to rip a pair of points away from the Breakers.

Boston returns to action on Sunday against the Seattle Reign at Moda Pitch Memorial Stadium.

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About Brian O'Connell

Brian O'Connell serves as editor and staff writer at New England Soccer Today. He's also the Revolution beat writer for ESPNBoston.com, and is Officer at Large for the North American Soccer Reporters. He's contributed to The Associated Press, The Canadian Press, and has been featured on MLSSoccer.com & RevsNet.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianOConnell21 or e-mail him at BOConnell21@aol.com