Early on in Thursday's midweek matchup, the Breakers offense found its rhythm, using a quick tally to capture the game's early momentum. In the end, however, Boston's introduction proved fleeting, as the Red Stars turned the tables and ran away with a 3-1 victory.
In the 19th minute, Breakers midfielder Courtney Jones, who began the season as Cat Whitehill's center back partner, opened the scoring with a quick tally. A skillful one-two between U.S. International Heather O'Reilly and forward Jazmine Reeves, who made her NWSL debut, left O'Reilly open to take a shot of frame. Chicago goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc spilled the rebound in Jones' direction, and the versatile midfielder finished with poise.
For the remainder of the half, the Breakers attack struggled to find their footing, enabling the Red Stars to counter--and develop a first-half equalizer. In the 44th minute, forward Jen Hoy sent a cross into the box, which struck ex-breaker Adriana Leon before finding star Lori Chalupny. The veteran midfielder patiently sent a header past Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, evening the match late in the first half.
Despite conceding just before the break, the Breakers entered the second half with enthusiasm, creating a dangerous opportunity in the beginning of the second frame. Unfortunately, the Red Stars immediately recovered, creating a chance of their own in the 52nd minute. With space, Chicago defender Michelle Wenino took a shot off the crossbar, only to collect her rebound, beat Naeher, and give her side a 2-1 lead.
Less than 15 minutes later, Chicago struck once again, when Hoy lifted a shot over Naeher for a 3-1 advantage. Hoy's tally--her second in as many matches--capped a prolific offensive performance, enabling the Red Stars to match their entire 2014 goal total in just 67 minutes of play.
In the waning moments, the Breakers created a handful of desperate chances, including a stoppage-time shot from newly-acquired midfielder Nikki Washington. Chicago, however, calmly cleared the last-minute opportunity, sending the Breakers into a discouraging 1-4-0 hole.
On Thursday, the return of Midfielder Kristie Mewis proved insignificant, as the Breakers turned in yet another disappointing performance. Tom Durkin and his reeling club will need to regroup before Sunday, when the Breakers have the opportunity to avenge their fourth defeat in five matches.
The Breakers will once again welcome the Red Stars to Harvard Stadium for a weekend rematch. Match kicks off at 6:30 PM on Sunday, May 18. To buy tickets, visit BreakersTickets.com
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