It's been a tale of two seasons for Boston and Seattle.
Boston fans were happy to see their team score from open play, a lovely finish from Maddy Evans off an even lovelier Kristie Mewis assist that picked Evans out running in the box. Evans touched it past Hope Solo to the far post for a neat, deceptively simple-looking goal.
Seattle fans were happy to see their team win the league, sealing their spot at first with one game left to play. This is two seasons in a row now that Seattle has won the regular season.
This is two seasons in a row that Boston has lost more than it's won.
The Mewis-to-Evans goal shows that Boston is a team capable of scoring from open play in a very satisfactory way. They certainly generated more attack than they did against FC Kansas City, this time managing six shots with three shots on goal.
Nkem Ezurike was an interesting attacking sub in the 68', coming in for Amy Barczuk—a risk with the Seattle midfield of Little, Fishlock, and Winters on patrol. But it didn't hurt Boston defensively and was worth the risk with Seattle already up three and Boston well out of playoff contention. Ezurike got involved a bit, but too often received the ball with her back to goal than is entirely desirable for a striker.
Once again the generator for much of Boston's offense was Kristie Mewis, especially since Stephanie McCaffrey was out with a left quad contusion. Mewis tried to find her teammates and took her share of chances from range, but Breakers possession was patchy. Seattle scored three unanswered goals from Megan Rapinoe, Kendall Fletcher, and Kim Little and held Boston scoreless until the 88' while outshooting them two to one. Still, it was better than their effort against FCKC.
If Kristie Mewis was an engine, then Alyssa Naeher was the brake, coming up with big save after big save. Seattle could have gone into halftime up by four or five, but Naeher kept things manageable.
There was the quick reaction deflection in the 8' that sent a hard Rapinoe shot pinging off the crossbar. There was the quick block in the 33' on Rapinoe who was running in on a cross. There was the pressure on Merritt Mathias to push her wide in the 41'. Really, take your pick. Whether it was a bold block or coming off her line at the right moment, Naeher more than showed her quality last night, just as she's done whenever she's been with the team this season.
So Boston has its good points: a sublime shotstopper and the capability for great attacking moments. But those moments are few and far between, and finding consistency is going to require some more help for Kristie Mewis in midfield that isn't Kyah Simon forced to drop deep and playmake instead of running freely in front.
There's one game left for the Boston Breakers this season, an away clash with the Houston Dash on August 30 at 8:30 PM ET. Hopefully they can keep some of the momentum from Seattle and finish on a strong note.