Starting XI: Sammy Jo Prudhomme, Brooke Elby, Julie King, Megan Oyster, Allysha Chapman, Angela Salem, Morgan Andrews, Rosie White, Emilie Haavi, Natasha Dowie, Adriana Leon
It was a slow start to the game for both sides on a muggy midsummer’s day at Jordan Field. But Washington began to find their rhythm first, leading to an early corner kick and header that Brooke Elby had to clear off the line in the 7’.
But the Breakers started to push back a little bit, aiming for Dowie high in the attacking third. Eventually she managed to hold up the play with help arriving and got the ball to Haavi wide open on the left. But Haavi didn’t look like she trusted herself to shoot one-time with her left foot and had to take the touches to put it on her right, giving up the time she needed to put it on frame.
A few minutes later the Breakers once again found Haavi drifting into space by herself on the left. She fed the ball to Chapman, but Chapman’s good low cross in front of goal had no one to capitalize.
Still the Breakers came on, markedly different from their first half performance against the Houston Dash. Morgan Andrews took tons of space in front of the 18 in the 25’, hitting a long shot as Steph Labbe was off her line. Labbe had to backpedal hard to tip the shot over the bar.
But Washington regained some rhythm after the mandatory cooling break, pressuring back and disrupting Boston attempts to posses along either flank. Boston’s defense had to stay sharp to cut out several balls looking for runners in the box, as well as stay tight along the flanks to prevent crosses looking for Franny Ordega. The midfield and defense mostly did okay at dropping together and filling in the gaps whenever defenders had to shift to double up on an attacker. Boston held off a series of last-minute corner kicks to go into halftime 0-0.
Mal Pugh entered for Washington after the half and attacking immediately picked up along her channel on the left. Boston didn’t go entirely into defense mode though, looking to release Dowie with a couple of long balls. Boston put together a lovely attack in the 53’ that saw White back-heeling a ball through for Dowie, but she was just offside.
Another great attack came in the 72’ as Elby stepped to break up a Washington attack and put in Rosie White, who took her opportunity and curled a shot that looked like it was going just wide. Labbe didn’t take the risk and dived to parry it aside. Boston took that momentum and kept pressing as Midge Purce got the ball at the top of the 18 and ripped a low, hard shot that slipped just past Labbe to make it 1-0 in the 73’.
Boston made a quick sub while the team was celebrating Purce’s goal, putting in Tiffany Weimer for Leon. Then their third sub in the 81’ with Ifeoma Onumonu in for Dowie, with Beard clearly trying to put some energy into his front line. It almost paid off as Andrews slipped a ball in for Onumonu, who got around her defender was almost one-v-one with Labbe, but shot it wide.
Boston tried to hold their lines in an organized fashion, but sank a little deep, giving up space to Washington to push through plenty of space in stoppage. But they held out, finally earning a 1-0 win.