There's something about the Seattle Reign, some strange mental-block-cum-bad-juju that has kept the Breakers from ever defeating them. In the first season of NWSL, the Reign broke their cruel 11-game losing streak against Boston to earn their first win ever. At best, Boston has only managed to tie them since then.
This time seemed different. Boston got on the board first through a Kristie Mewis free kick in the 14', served in with pace and deflected into the Reign goal off Stephanie Cox. Then Seattle equalized in the 41' through the sublime skills of Kim Little, who carried the ball through the entire Breakers defensive third, loitered in the box, then sent the ball low and hard into the net.
Seattle took the lead in the 66' when fresh substitute Ellie Reed found Beverly Yanez at the far post; Yanez tapped it in past Breakers defender Lauren Lazo, who wasn't looking for the far post runner.
Then another equalizer, this time for Boston, with Kristie Mewis doing well to shake her pressure, gain some space, and shoot a cross into the box for Nkem Ezurike. Ezurike fought to send it across the goalface and Morgan Marlborough finished it.
And then Kim Little struck again, this time threading a ball through for Jess Fishlock, who popped it past Jami Kranich for the game winner.
Coach Tom Durkin characterized Little and Fishlock as "two really world class players." Their quality clearly showed in this game as they combined for two out of three Seattle goals, finding their way through Boston's tough central defense.
Scoreline aside, this game was entirely winnable by Boston, which perhaps makes it all the more frustrating to drop points against Seattle once again. The game certainly had its peaks and valleys, with Boston looking sharp, only to drop off, then gather themselves up and press again. There were good long stretches of back-and-forth action, making this game possibly the most entertaining NWSL game of the weekend.
But Boston continues to lack enough attacking presence. Consider that Kristie Mewis has 44 shots in 795 minutes, while Stephanie McCaffrey has 17 shots in 744 minutes, Nkem Ezurike has 9 shots in 278 minutes and Morgan Marlborough has 8 shots in 456 minutes. Mewis is a left midfielder, but her production on the attack is outpacing all three forwards. McCaffrey is hampered by too often being forced into a provider role and Ezurike and Marlborough just aren't finding their shots. The Breakers need an added dose of lethality in their attack to be truly competitive this season. A little more attack will go a long way and perhaps then they'll show Seattle what it's like to lose against Boston.
The Breakers are now fifth in the league, but with the difference between one and eight at only five points, top spot is still fairly wide open.
Next up: the Breakers play their second of four home games in a row against the Western New York Flash on June 28 at 5 PM.