Despite creating a flurry of chances in the first frame, the Breakers surrendered an early goal to pesky forward Monica Ocampo, a tally that ultimately held up as the game winner as Boston fell to Sky Blue FC, 1-0.
In the 4th minute, rookie Mollie Pathman threatened Sky Blue with a dangerous corner, a curling ball that found an open head on the far post. Blues ‘keeper Brittany Cameron denied the early opportunity, however, tipping the shot just over the crossbar.
For the ensuing 20 minutes, Sky Blue asserted themselves as the more potent club. An 11th minute through ball from Kelley O'Hara found Taylor Lytle on the left side. Lytle took a touch toward the middle of the field, turned her hips and fired a shot low and to Breakers goalkeeper Amanda Naeher's left. Naeher made the quick reaction save.
Just moments later, O'Hara created the game winner. With space on the left side, she sent a cross onto a wide-open Monica Ocampo, who struck a skillfull volley from inside the spot. Her shot found the back of the net with force, giving Sky Blue an early 1-0 advantage.
In the very next sequence, O'Hara nearly struck again. A swinging free kick found a pair of heads in the box, ultimately falling to O'Hara, who beat Naeher to the loose ball. The Assistant Referee immediately raised the offside flag, however, disallowing O'Hara's finish.
The Breakers earned a momentum shift in the latter part of the half, creating a number of dangerous opportunities. Crafty attacking by Pathman and midfielder Lianne Sanderson nearly broke Cameron on multiple occasions, though the veteran goalkeeper stood strong, guiding her club to a 1-0 lead at the break.
In the second frame, the Breakers developed the best opportunity of the half, when U.S. International Heather O'Reilly took two hard shots from inside the box. The first never made it to Cameron, and deflected off a Sky Blue defender; the second found the charging chest of Cameron, who shut down the opportunity with a strong angle.
For the remainder of the second 45, neither team created a dangerous opportunity, leading the Breakers into a controversial finish.
In the 89th minute, winger Caitlin Foord took a long touch on the right side that Breakers forward Lisa De Vanna attempted to close down. Foord appeared to wrap up De Vanna and take the physical forward to the ground, though the center referee tagged De Vanna with the foul. Frustrated with the surprising decision--and a scoreless 89 minutes--De Vanna followed the official and expressed her disagreement, a pursuit that lasted several minutes. De Vanna ultimately earned a red card for dissent.
Despite turning in a strong offensive performance, the Breakers ran into a defensive wall in New Jersey, failing to overcome Lytle's 14th minute game winner.
The Breakers return to action on Thursday, May 15, against the Chicago Red Stars. The match will kick off at 7:00 PM from Harvard Stadium. To purchase tickets, visit breakerstickets.com.