You might have heard that the Boston Breakers finally broke their scoreless streak by beating FC Kansas City 1-0 last weekend. It's a stat that a lot of people, including myself, have been focused on for almost the entirety of the season so far.
But now Boston has broken through the ice. Can they continue to score this weekend when they play the Western New York Flash away?
The Flash are currently fifth in the league, with a 3-3-0 record and eight goals for with eight goals against. Until last weekend, it was only three goals for, but they went on a tear against Sky Blue FC and scored five goals in a single game.
Boston will need to watch Jess McDonald and Makenzy Doniak up top; they may once again deploy their five-back system, used last weekend to pretty good effect against FCKC.
Boston's forwards will be dealing with Australian international Alanna Kennedy; any runners will have to get around her first, not the easiest task. Once again the Breakers may have Kyah Simon continuing to drop deeper from time to time, with head coach Matt Beard saying after last week's game that he was fine with her performance as long as she was helping to create chances as well as getting into scoring positions.
Some good news though: this might be the first game that new signing Eunice Beckmann is available to play for the team. She was just awaiting medical clearance last weekend; assuming that's gone through by now, the Breakers may now have an intriguing new piece to factor into their attack.
Beckmann's availability does beg the question of who gets moved around to make room for her; her usefulness as a central striker or even central attacking mid may mean last weekend's starter Katie Schoepfer will return to being a sub. Or Beard may return to four in the back and see if Beckmann pairs well with Stephanie McCaffrey or Louise Schillgard. There are several different configurations available here.
What the team really needs is two results in a row. Breaking a scoreless streak is one thing - the relief at Jordan Field was nearly palpable last weekend - but now the team must establish some sort of consistency. If they can pull at least a result against the Flash, then it'll be time to readjust expectations.
Edit: national team players should be away on WNT duty this weekend, taking Samantha Mewis and Jaelene Hinkle for the Flash and Whitney Engen for the Breakers out of the picture. WNY starting goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo is also out with a wrist fracture.
The game kicks off on Friday, May 27, at 7 PM ET at Sahlen's Stadium. The game will stream live on NWSL's youtube channel.