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Boston Breakers fall 4-2 on the road against Orlando Pride

Defensive issues cost Breakers points in Florida.

Starting XI: Abby Smith, Midge Purce, Julie King, Megan Oyster, Allysha Chapman, Angela Salem, Brooke Elby, Rosie White, Amanda Frisbie, Adriana Leon, Katie Stengel

The Boston Breakers lost to the Orlando Pride 4-2 on Saturday at Orlando City Stadium, in a game where the visitors attempted to come back and fight their way into the game but fell well short of putting together a complete performance.

The scoring started early for the hosts, and may have started as soon as the second minute, as Abby Smith was forced to tip a looping shot from Alex Morgan over the crossbar to keep it scoreless. But the stout defense didn’t hold for long, as Rachel Hill opened the scoring eight minutes in, as the Pride pinged the ball around on a long build-up before the initial shot was saved by Smith. Hill latched onto the rebound from point-blank range to make it 1-0.

It got worse for the Breakers, as Hill scored her second in the 16th minute. Orlando took off on a turnover, with Hill making a support run on the break. A cross came in from Alex Morgan on the left, and Hill tapped it in.

Truth be told, Orlando’s lead could have been much larger, but some close calls, good goalkeeping from Smith and some wasteful finishing led to a 2-0 deficit for Boston at the break.

Initially, it looked like more of the same coming into the second half, but Boston put pressure on the Pride four minutes in, as Rosie White notched a goal to cut the lead and give the Breakers a boost. White’s goal was a reversal of sorts from Orlando’s first goal, as some terrific build-up, including a good cross beyond the far post and a low cross from Amanda Frisbie, led to White’s tap-in from right in front of the net.

Matt Beard made a double substitution in the 55th minute, bringing in Ifeoma Onumonu and Natasha Dowie for Frisbie and Katie Stengel, respectively.

But the Pride pushed for an insurance tally, and Marta hit a pinpoint tally in the 67th minute to make it 3-1.

Rose Lavelle made her long-awaited return to the Breakers lineup in the 72nd minute for Brooke Elby. Showing some rust, it was good to see Lavelle back on the field but she was not able to really make a mark on the game in her first minutes following her injury absence.

A turnover by Allysha Chapman in the 77th minute led to the Pride’s fourth goal, as Chioma Ubogagu picked off an errant pass, ran past Megan Oyster and beat Smith at the far post to wrap up the result at 4-1.

Marta nearly grabbed a second goal in the 81st minute, but Smith did enough to hold her off, while Angela Salem cleared the ball in desperation. But Boston got the final tally, as Julie King scored a header off an Adriana Leon corner kick to make it 4-2.

King nearly scored a second goal right around 90 minutes, off a half-volley, but her shot sailed over the goal, and it was 4-2 when all was said and done.

The Breakers are back in action on Sunday, Sept. 10 at home against the Portland Thorns.