The Boston Breakers defeated Boston College 4-0 in a preseason scrimmage Friday off a brace by Maddy Evans and one goal each for Suzane Pires and Bianca Brinson. The scrimmage was played in three 35-minute sessions to allow Coach Tom Durkin to experiment with as many lineups as possible. Almost all the players on the preseason roster saw time except for Julie King, who is carrying a slight injury.
Non-roster invitees Paige Burnett (GK) and Lauren Lazo (MF) did not play either. Burnett's absence is unsurprising since Durkin indicated he intends to give Kranich plenty of time in order to prepare her to fill in for Naeher during the World Cup.
The second period lineup was interesting pirmarily due to the absence of Whitehill, with Samantha Lofton, Rachel Wood, Kassey Kallman, and Bianca Brinson starting. Durkin's plan to convert Brinson into a right back seems to have begun, with Brinson playing in the back line for the second and third periods. Of the team's draftees, Sam Lofton, Stephanie Verdoia, and Jamia Fields also played two periods. At the NWSL Draft, Durkin called Lofton a "sleeper" and an "impact player."
Based on the lineups, Durkin may plan to rotate Whitehill, Kallman, and Wood in central defense with Brinson, Lofton, and Pathman as options on the wings. In the middle Pires could be pulling the strings, perhaps paired with Maddy Evans depending on formation. Scoring may be more problematic, with all four goals coming from midfield and defense despite the presence of Ezurike, Verdoia, Fields, Marlborough, Wiggers, Rafinha, and McCaffrey. But it being the very beginning of preseason, this is likely more indicative of the team still needing time to gel and find its rhythm. Verdoia and Marlborough were able to combine and find Evans for her second goal, showing there are certainly connections starting to form.
First period lineup: Alyssa Naeher, Cat Whitehill, Kassey Kallman, Mollie Pathman, Jasmin Corniel (Breakers Reserves), Amy Barczuk, Kristie Mewis, Rafinha, Stephanie McCaffrey, Ketlen Wiggers, Bia.
Second period lineup: Jami Kranich, Kassey Kallman, Bianca Brinson, Sam Lofton, Katie Schoepfer, Maddy Evans, Suzane Pires, Rachel Wood, Morgan Marlborough, Stephanie Verdoia, Jamia Fields.
Third period lineup: Jami Kranich, Cat Whitehill, Rachel Wood, Bianca Brinson, Sam Lofton, Stephanie Verdoia, Chanel Johnson, Katie Schoepfer, Suzane Pires, Nkem Ezurike, Jamia Fields.