New England Soccer Today

Breakers Snap Skid in Win Over Spirit

Julie King and Kyah Simon both scored early to help the Breakers snap a nine-game winless run in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the Washington Spirit at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium.

King wasted little time putting the Breakers on the board when she struck inside of 12 minutes while Simon doubled the lead in the 18th minute. The Spirit got one back in the 49th minute from Diana Matheson, but the hosts held on for the win thanks an 11-save performance from keeper Alyssa Naeher.

“It was a fantastic effort by a group of girls who have been working really hard,” Breakers assistant coach Doc Sampson said in a team release. “We flew across country, (had) some tired legs, but showed a lot of heart today against a very good team, so we’re very pleased.”

With the victory, the Breakers – which last claimed maximum points on May 30 – moved to 15 points with a 4-10-3 record. The loss kept the third-place Spirit on 24 points with a 7-5-3 mark.

Saturday’s home finale for the Breakers marked the final chance to give the local support something to cheer about amid a trying season. To their credit, the hosts went right to work in that endeavor when Kristie Mewis sent a corner kick into the mixer for King, who rose above the Spirit defenders and headed it through to give the Breakers the early lead in the 12th minute.

Despite claiming a rare lead, the Breakers weren’t content to rest on their laurels. Six minutes after King found the back of the net, Stephanie McCaffrey sent a dangerous ball into the area where Ali Krieger tried to clear it. But Krieger’s botched clearance found Simon instead, and the Australian International easily tapped it through to widen the gap in the 18th minute.

“Steph did really well to bait her player and make something of quite small opportunity, and I just happened to be in a dangerous area,” Simon said in a team release. “When you feed a ball in there, between the defenders and the goal, anything can happen, and it came off one of their players, and I was just there to pick up the scraps and make sure it went in.”

The Breakers marched into halftime with the lead, but were immediately threatened early in the second half. After Naeher made a strong save on Tori Huster, the rebound fell to Matheson, who punched it through in the 49th minute.

Naeher was called upon to make eight saves in the second half alone to preserve the win, sending the sellout crowd (4,137) home happy for the final time in 2015.

“We knew they (Washington) were going to make a push (in the second half), and they did exactly what we thought they would do,” Sampson said. “But we held on in the end.”

The Breakers will kick off their season-ending, three-game road trip at 8:00pm ET on Aug. 22 when they face FC Kansas City at Swope Soccer Village.

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