Strong Start, Late Crash for Breakers on Nat’l TV

Katie Schoepfer gave the Boston Breakers an early lead, but the Portland Thorns opened the throttle en route to an entertaining 6-3 win in Sunday’s nationally-broadcast match at Providence Park.

Schoepfer opened the scoring in the 14th minute, but the lead would quickly disappear after Allie Long converted a penalty in the 20th minute. Nikki Washington reclaimed the lead in the 32nd minute before it, too, vanished when Christine Sinclair scored in the 35th minute. Heather O’Reilly gave the Breakers their third lead of the first half alone when she tallied in the 39th minute.

But it was all Thorns from there as Sinclair added two more in the 40nd and 46th minutes, while Alex Morgan and Jessica McDonald both tallied in the 51st and 89th minutes to give Portland the win before a national audience with ESPN broadcasting the match.

The loss sent the Breakers to their second straight defeat, and extended their winless streak to (0-5-2). Portland ended a four-game winless skid (0-2-2) with the victory.

For the Breakers, it was another game that started with promise thanks an early goal. Schoepfer grabbed a pass from Jazmine Reeves and buried it put the guests on top early.

Minutes later, Morgan took into the area, where she was fouled and a penalty was called. Long stepped up and slotted it through to even the match for the first time in the 20th minute.

Washington scored 12 minutes later when he latched on a pass from Lianne Sanderson and beat Nadine Angerer to give the Breakers back the lead.

That lead lasted all of three minutes thanks a ball put into the back of the Boston net by Sinclair, who’s night was far from over in the 35th minute.

Incredibly, the Breakers bounced back yet again when O’Reilly converted a penalty of her own after a shot from Sanderson was handled inside the Portland area in the 39th minute.

But the third Breakers’ lead met the same fate as its predecessors, as Sinclair secured her second goal of the game in the 42nd minute.

Sinclair scored the game-winner in the 46th minute, while Morgan added an insurance tally five minutes later. With the Breakers pressing late, McDonald put it out of reach right before full time.

The Breakers will get their next chance to snap their struggles on Friday when they take on the Western New York Flash at Sahlen’s Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.

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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 regularly contributes to The Associated Press, and has been featured on MLSSoccer.com & RevsNet.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianOConnell21 or contact him via e-mail at BOConnell21@aol.com