New England Soccer Today

Top 5 of 2012: Boston Breakers

Breakers striker Kyah Simon scored for the 11th time in Friday' 3-1 win over the Chesapeake Charge. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

Breakers striker Kyah Simon scored 12 goals in 13 games in her debut season with Boston. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

(Editor’s note: with the end of the calendar upon us, New England Soccer Today is taking a look back at the most memorable moments of 2012. In this edition, Julian Cardillo reviews the top five Boston Breakers moments)

5. Breakers sign world class stars

Many thought that despite the creation of a brand new semi-professional league in the WPSL Elite, the folding of the division 1 Women’s Professional Soccer would spell the end of world class women’s soccer in the U.S.. In truth, the Breakers did wave goodbye to U.S. national team members Rachel Buehler, Amy LePeilbet, Stephanie Cox, Kelley O’Hara, Lauren Cheney, plus England’s Kelly Smith and Alex Scott. But the Breakers also retained the services of U.S. national team midfielder Leslie Osbourne and went on to sign national teamers Cat Whitehill and Heather O’Reilly. The Breakers further bolstered their squad with other major foreign signings including Australians Kyah Simon and Tameka Butt, as well as Colombian back-up goalkeeper Alejandra Velasco. Whitehill and Osbourne’s veteran presence helped lead the Breakers into the postseason while Simon’s 12 regular season goals made her runner-up for Golden Boot.

4. Season and Home Opening Victories

The Breakers wasted no time asserting themselves in WPSL Elite as they skated to a 3-0 victory in their season opener against ASA Chesapeake Charge and then opened up their home slate at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville with a 4-1 thumping of FC Indiana. The Breakers began the season with a five-game unbeaten streak and finished the season atop of the WPSL Elite standings with an 11-3-0 (33 points).

3. Kyah Simon’s hat-trick

After falling behind early to a New England Mutiny goal, the Breakers woke up and rallied for a 4-2 victory with the help of a Kyah Simon hat-trick. Simon’s first two goals came in a four-minute span just before the halftime whistle. In the 41st minute, Simon poked a through ball from Katie Schoepfer into the back of the net to level the game. Moments before the end of the first half, Simon tallied again by finishing a cross from Courtney Jones. Jones set up Simon again in the 71st minute, capping the three-goal performance. Simon’s hat trick was just the second in Boston Breakers’ history.

2.  Heather O’Reilly’s London send-off

Heather O’Reilly was honored during halftime of a match against the ASA Chesapeake Charge on July 8. The sell-out, Dilboy Stadium crowd applauded O’Reilly and one fan screamed out, “”HAO [Heather Ann O’Reilly] bring us home the gold!” That’s just what O’Reilly did. The U.S. women’s national team won their fourth consecutive gold medal, defeating Japan 2-1 in the final match at Wembley Stadium, revenge following their Cup final loss against the Japanese at the 2011 World Cup. O’Reilly played in four games, though she did not take the field in the final. “I had such a great experience playing with the Breakers this year,” said O’Reilly during her send-off. “Everything about the organization is top notch; everything is run very professionally. The fans and engagement from the community was very impressive, and the support the team received was extraordinary. I was very proud to wear Breakers blue this season. The club has something special.”

1. Boston returns to the pros

On November 21, U.S. Soccer announced the revival of professional women’s soccer through the creation of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The eight-team league will begin play in the Spring of 2013 and will include the Breakers as well as Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, Washington Spirit, and Western New York Flash. The league is also looking to expand in the near future to Los Angeles and Connecticut, plus bring in a second Seattle team. Boston has yet to secure a stadium deal for 2013, but will likely leave Dilboy Field in Somerville and move back to Harvard Stadium. Moreover, the NWSL College Draft will take place in Indianapolis on Jan. 18.

follow Julian on twitter @juliancardillo

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