The Boston Breakers gave up two goals in the first half of their game against the Western New York Flash for an ultimate 2-0 loss.
In a somewhat surprising move, head coach Tom Durkin opted to bench usual starter Steph McCaffrey and go with Morgan Marlborough up top, with Suzane Pires, Kristie Mews, and Maddy Evans in support. He also moved Mewis more centrally, an idea which was worth a try considering Mewis has been one of the team's main providers this season. But in the end it came to naught as the Breakers weren't able to find their finish in the 18.
"We created chances tonight that we didn't finish," Boston Breakers head coach Tom Durkin said. "We got in some good positions tonight, but took extra touches where we didn't need to."
The Breakers pressed the Flash hard in the second half, but too often the ball would take a bad bounce or a player would hesitate to one-time it in an effort to get a better position and the opportunity would pass.
The Flash's first tally was a goalkeeping error by Jami Kranich, who has otherwise been quite solid for the Breakers. But as we saw in the World Cup when Ayumi Kaihori let slip a goal during Japan vs. Netherlands, even the best goalkeepers sometimes flub their lines. Kranich bobbled a cross into the box and the ball popped loose in perfect position for Lynn Williams to tap it in.
The second Flash goal found substitute Elizabeth Eddy running onto a great through ball from Williams, splitting defenders Mollie Pathan and Julie King, beating Kranich in the 1-v-1, and putting the ball to bed.
The Breakers saw some improvement from McCaffrey's 66' sub, including a fantastic floated ball into the box for Kristie Mewis. They spent much time in the Flash's defensive third, but it wasn't enough. Shots went over, wide, or into traffic.
One bright spot was defender Lauren Lazo, who seems to be settling into her role as a wingback for the Breakers. Several times she helped create movement up the right flank and sent good service into the box.
But no combination of subs and shifting positions was able to finish the chances they created. Too much responsibility to create fell on Kristie Mewis in the first half. Bringing on Nkem Ezurike in the 35' for Suzane Pires was at best a minor improvement. Subbing Bia for Marlborough in the 59' yielded similarly marginal gains.
It's becoming something of a dead horse, but this team must find a way to score. The Breakers defense is good, but not perfect, and can't be expected to hold every scoreline at zero.
Boston is currently sixth in the league standings with a 3-5-2 record, seven points behind league leaders the Chicago Red Stars. They next play FC Kansas City on July 9 at home.
BOS: Jami Kranich, Lauren Lazo, Julie King (C), Kassey Kallman (C), Mollie Pathman, Amy Barczuk, Katie Schoepfer (C), Kristie Mewis, Suzane Pires (Nkem Ezurike, 34), Maddy Evans (Stephanie McCaffrey, 66), Morgan Marlborough (Bia, 59)
Subs not used: Che Brown, Rachel Wood, Riley Houle, Stephanie Verdoia
WNY: Chantel Jones, Brittany Taylor, Jaelene Hinkle, Kristen Edmonds, Chelsea Stewart (Ashley Nick, 67), Samantha Mewis, Becky Edwards, Abby Dahlkemper, Lynn Williams (Amanda Frisbie, 76), Jasmyne Spencer, Jamia Fields (Elizabeth Eddy, 26)
Subs not used: Sabrina D'Angelo, Kristen Hamilton