The third-place New England Mutiny went toe to toe with the first-place Boston Breakers Reserves at Harvard Stadium during the first half, but the second half saw the hosts pull away with a 5-2 win on Wednesday.
Mutiny forward Kate Howarth scored twice in the 30th and 52nd minutes, but the Reserves were simply too much for their guests to contain in the latter stages.
Suzane Pires opened the account in the 18th minute, while Rachel Wood scored from the spot in the 49th minute. The hosts put the Mutiny in the rearview for good on strike from Vendula Strnadova in the 67th minute, while Chelsea Stewart and Jasmin Corniel scored in the 72nd and 76th minutes, respectively.
The loss put the breaks on the Mutiny’s four-game unbeaten run (2-0-2), while the Reserves extended their season-long unbeaten streak to seven (6-0-1).
Boston entered the match riding the momentum of a 9-1 thrashing against Seacoast United Phantoms last week, and didn’t wait long to resume their scoring touch. In the 18th minute, Pires used her left footed shot to roof it over the reach of Mutiny goalkeeper Carly McCabe.
But the Mutiny wouldn’t vanish as quickly as the Phantoms did last week. Jenna Fisher grabbed a ball in the midfield and sent Howarth through to beat Breakers keeper Kimika Forbes at the half hour mark.
The match entered halftime level at one apiece, but there were plenty of goals in store for the second half – and many of them would came courtesy of the hosts.
Four minutes after the interval, Boston’s Emily Banes drew a foul inside the area after Jewel Robinson fouled her inside the box. Moments later, Wood carefully placed the ball on the spot, then sent her shot into the back of the net to reclaim the lead.
The Mutiny would not make it easy, though. Howarth struck again in the 52nd minute on another ball from Fisher that the Mutiny striker ushered into the twine to level it once again.
Howarth’s second strike would be the closest the Mutiny came to getting a road result, though. In a wild, nine-minute offensive burst, Strnadova pushed through a rebound created by Wood in the 67th minute, while a poor clearance landed set the stage for Stewart to pad the lead in the 72nd minute. Corniel capped the scoring four minutes later on a shot that eluded McCabe.
The Mutiny return to the pitch on Monday at 7pm against the Boston Breakers Academy at North Andover High School. The Breakers Reserves will host Boston Aztec at 7pm on Monday at Harvard Stadium.