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Boston Breakers Tie Washington Spirit 1-1

The Breakers finally managed a point on the road, tying the Spirit 1-1 on Maddy Evans' first professional goal.

Stephanie Yang

On a beautiful night at the Maryland Soccerplex, the Breakers got one more monkey off their back—sort of. They picked up their first away point of the season with a 1-1 tie against the Washington Spirit off a dynamic goal from Maddy Evans.

The game started out back-and-forth before shifting into Washington's favor. Crystal Dunn created merry mischief with her runs on the left and her drives towards the box, though goalkeeper Jami Kranich was well on her toes for most of the game. Kranich had eight saves throughout the game and made some very crucial one-on-one stops off her line. Many Breakers fans had questions at the beginning of the season about Kranich as Alyssa Naeher's backup, having never seen her play for the pro team. Kranich surely has answered most of them with her decision-making on 1v1s and fairly sticky hands on long-range shots and crosses.

The Breakers went into the second half still tied at 0-0, trying to pick up where they left off by generating more attack and getting Stephanie McCaffrey more involved. Kristie Mewis did her best with not one but two shots off the woodwork, but when McCaffrey was quiet, the Breakers offense clearly suffered. Morgan Marlborough and Nkem Ezurike struggled to get their cleats through the ball, though they showed flashes of good strength to shrug off defenders.

The Spirit broke through in the 64' when the ball pinged loose in the Breakers 18 and found former Breaker Amanda DaCosta. DaCosta struck the ball well from outside the box and made a clean finish of it. But less than two minutes later, circumstances repeated themselves with the ball pinging around the Spirit box. The ball popped loose and seemed headed to the feet of  Spirit defender, but Evans zoomed in and sent it over GK Kelsey Wys' head. It was the Breakers' first shot on goal of the match and Evans' first professional goal.

Overall the Spirit looked like the better team with the strengths of Christine Nairn and Crystal Dunn creating chance after chance. Dunn ran hard at the back line, requiring Julie King and Kassey Kallman to stay extremely coordinated in covering her. Nairn took shots from distance, nearly chipping Kranich late in the game.

Once again Boston's tight defensive box kept the game at a more even tilt, with Kassey Kallman collecting strays like a particularly zealous animal control officer and Julie King stepping to the ball several times to make penetrating central runs. Credit also goes to Mollie Pathman for her work getting forward and trying to find someone in the box. With a little more accuracy on her crosses, Pathman could join with Mewis in helping the Breakers overwhelm defenses on the left.

Boston is now 3-3-2 and falls to fourth in the league rankings, sitting just behind the Reign. NWSL will take a two week break for the Women's World Cup and the Breakers will resume their schedule at home on June 21 against the Seattle Reign.

Lineups

BOS: Jami Kranich, Rachel Wood (Lauren Lazo, 28), Julie King (C), Kassey Kallman (C), Mollie Pathman, Amy Barczuk, Katie Schoepfer (C), Kristie Mewis, Maddy Evans, Stephanie McCaffrey (Suzane Pires, 81), Morgan Marlborough (Nkem Ezurike, 64)

Subs not used: Che Brown, Stephanie Verdoia

WAS: Kelsey Wys, Whitney Church, Megan Oyster, Estelle Johnson, Katherine Reynolds, Joanna Lohman (Caprice Dydasco, 73), Angela Salem, Christine Nairn, Crystal Dunn, Amanda DaCosta (Tiffany Weimer, 81), Laura del Rio

Subs not used: Alex Singer, Tori Huster, Jennifer Skogerboe, Lyndse Hokanson