Hoping to replicate last weekend's 4-2 victory over the Western New York Flash, the Breakers failed to keep Alyssa Naeher's net clean, conceding four goals en route to a 4-3 defeat.
The scoring started early at Harvard Stadium, when U.S. International Abby Wambach delivered an early tally. With space on the left side, Flash midfielder McCall Zerboni played a dangerous cross in front of goal. Breakers captain Cat Whitehill failed to control--and most importantly, clear--the low cross, deflecting a rebound onto Wambach's foot on the near post. The U.S. legend finished with ease.
For the ensuing 15 minutes, the Flash continued to push forward, putting significant pressure on Boston's back line. Rookie Rachel Wood and her defensive 'mates stood strong, however, effectively clearing a handful of Flash opportunities.
In the 29th minute, Kristie Mewis went to work offensively, curling a cross into the box that Western New York turned away. Moments later, Bianca Sierra sent an off-balance cross into the box that took a deflection and fell to Mewis, who smashed a shot into the open net for her first goal of the season.
Even at one in the 30th minute, the Breakers surrendered a disheartening penalty, setting up the Flash for an immediate go-ahead goal.
Alyssa Naeher had other plans.
Following an aggressive push in the box from Katie Schopefer, Carli Lloyd stepped up to the spot and confidently approached her penalty. The ever-poised Naeher extended low to her right, denied the penalty, and smothered the rebound, once again putting her team on her shoulders.
Riding the high of a well-fought first 45, the Breakers comfortably entered the break even at one. But in the opening moments of the second half, the Flash asserted themselves as the hungrier club, using an Abby Wambach goal to take an early advantage. With space at the top of the box, Wambach lofted a well-hit shot over Alyssa Naeher and into the back of the net.
Seventeen minutes later, the Flash doubled their advantage. After making a deep run down the right side, Lloyd sent a dangerous header into the box, only to find Samantha Kerr charging toward goal. Kerr emphatically headed the cross past Naeher for a 3-1 lead.
Not to be outdone, the Breakers pulled a goal back in the 75th minute. A Heather O'Reilly free kick played pinball in the box before finding Jazmine Reeves, who nodded home her seventh goal of the season. The late tally instilled new life in a struggling Breakers side.
Two minutes later, Kristie Mewis delivered again. The Massachusetts native received a deep cross on the left side, took a touch, and blasted a shot past Flash 'keeper Kelsey Wys, brilliantly equalizing late in the second frame. With her arms raised to the heavens, Mewis came screaming down the sideline, capping one of the team's brightest moments of 2014.
Unfortunately, her breakout performance proved all for not.
In stoppage time, Kerr took advantage of sloppy defending by Whitehill, tore down the right side, and played a perfectly-weighted pass to substitute Sonia Bermudez. The Spanish forward broke the hearts of Breakers supporters yet again, finishing a story that has become as old as time.
After turning in one of their finer performances of the season, the Breakers attack could do nothing in the end, watching as Whitehill & Co. failed to hold tight. Bermudez's goal only exemplifies the Breakers woes: this team simply cannot defend when it matters most.
The Breakers will visit second-placed F.C. Kansas City for a midweek matchup at Verizon Wireless Field. Match kicks off at 8:00PM.