The struggling Boston Breakers tinkered their lineup on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to stop rookie Kealia Ohai from scoring twice to give the Houston Dash a 2-1 win at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Ohai scored in the 56th and 61st minutes, while Katie Schoepfer collected the lone Breakers’ goal in the fifth minute. Boston was without the services of Lianne Sanderson, who was suspended for the match due to red card she received in the team’s previous match against the Seattle Reign.
The Breakers fielded a lineup that saw midfielders Kristie Mewis and Heather O’Reilly drop to the backline, and early on, it seemed the changes were just what the slumping side needed.
Inside of five minutes, O’Reilly played a ball ahead to Schoepfer, who fired it past Erin McLeod for the opening goal.
But the promise shown by the Breakers in the early stages faded after the break.
Barely 10 minutes after the interval, Kelly McFarlane found Ohai, who blasted a shot from the edge of the box to level that match in the 56th minute.
On her second goal, Ohai used her speed to beat the defense and keeper Alyssa Naeher to put it through and give the hosts the lead in the 61st minute.
The Dash nearly widened the gap in the 82nd minute when a penalty was awarded in their favor following a handling call inside the Boston box. But Naeher denied Ella Masar from the spot to keep the Breakers within striking distance late.
Jazmine Reeves gave the Breakers their best shout for a reply in stoppage time on a point-blank shot, but McLeod stood in her way to preserve the victory.
The Breakers will look to improve their fortunes on Sunday at Providence Park against the Portland Thorns. Kickoff is set for 5pm ET.