With a renewed coaching staff and a reframed perspective on the 2013 season, the Breakers shutout top-ranked FC Kansas City on Saturday, using a second-half goal from Sydney Leroux to claim a 1-0 victory.
Kansas City's high-flying attack looked on par early, challenging Boston goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher from the opening moments on Saturday. In the 11th minute, rookie midfielder Erika Tymrak nearly broke the 0-0 deadlock, only to be followed by a shot from distance by midfielder Kristie Mewis. Naeher proved up to the task on both goal-scoring opportunities.
In the latter portion of the first 45, the Breakers created several chances of their own, nearly taking the lead three times over a six-minute span. Boston midfielder and U.S. International Heather O'Reilly nearly converted the final of the three opportunities, arriving on the end of a 31st minute header that threatened Saturday's scoreless run.
Just before the half, NWSL goal-scoring leader Lauren Holiday curled a free kick just over the crossbar from 35 yards out; 20 minutes later, Holiday generated the first goal-scoring opportunity of the second half, taking a touch around Naeher before sending her shot off the side of FCKC's attacking goal.
In the 65 minute, Breakers forward Kyah Simon played a well-paced through ball to Leroux, who collected the pass in the box, beat Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, and provided her home side with a stunning 1-0 advantage.
For the remaining 25 minutes, the Breakers defended their one-goal lead, stalling FCKC and forcing the visitors to surrender home-field advantage throughout the NWSL playoffs. Boston's complete performance enabled interim coach Cat Whitehill to remain undefeated through three matches - and ended Kansas City's 10-game unbeaten streak.
The Breakers will wrap-up the 2013 season by visiting Western New York. Match kicks off a 8:00 P.M. on Saturday, Aug. 17.
More from The Bent Musket:
- Revolution 0-3 Sporting KC: Red Cards Abound as New England Loses to Kansas City
- Revolution vs. Sporting KC 2013: Lineups and Live Game Thread Part Deux
- Revolution vs. Sporting KC 2013: Know Thy Enemy Part Deux
- Breakers vs. FC Kansas City 2013: Match Preview
- New England Revolution Get Charlie Davies on Loan