Just three days removed from a memorable two-goal performance against top-ranked Sky Blue FC, Boston Breakers forward Sydney Leroux made headlines once again. Down 1-0 in the 63rd minute, Leroux finished yet another point-blank cross, helping the Breakers rescue a road point during a less-than stellar performance.
In the beginning stages of Wednesday's east-west matchup, the Breakers and Reign pushed forward, contributing minimal play in the midfield. After a handful of half-chances, both sides settled into an inconsistent first 45, marked by carless passing and poor build up.
In the 28th minute, Seattle earned its first quality opportunity, when Reign forward Megan Rapinoe played a well-paced through ball to teammate Jessica McDonald. Beaten by half a step, McDonald leapt over Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who covered the save just inside the 18-yard box. Moments later, the Breakers contributed a threat of their own, when Reign goalkeeper Hope Solo parried Joanna Lohman's header over the crossbar and into safety.
In the 53rd minute, McDonald redefined the match's tempo, collecting a cross from Christine Nairn inside the penalty area. With space and time to her advantage, McDonald settled the pass and calmly slotted her shot past Naeher, beating the goalkeeper low and to her left.
On the doorstep of a second goal, Seattle continued to push forward, opening up the field by controlling possession. Their confidence may have cost them; after completing a far post run in the 63rd minute, Leroux arrived on the end of a daunting low cross from midfielder Heather O'Reilly. Without hesitation, Leroux touched the assist past a sprawling Solo. The equalizer - Leroux's 8th of season - ties Kansas City's Lauren Cheney for the NWSL lead.
In the waning moments, Seattle again threatened Boston's back line. With space just outside the box, Rapinoe ripped a low drive to Naeher's right, forcing an agile save from Boston's goalkeeper. Minutes later, midfielder Keelin Winters rose for a header in front of goal, which she placed onto the turf. Winters' shot bounced just over the crossbar.
After a consistent defensive performance on Sunday, the Breakers back line looked out of sorts once again, leaving runners open in the box on several occasions. The goalkeeping of Alyssa Naeher, along with Leroux's 63rd minute finish, saved a point for the Breakers, who will undoubtedly turn their focus toward solidifying a shaky back line.
The Breakers will visit JELD-WEN Field for their first matchup with the Portland Thorns. Match will kick off at 7:30 pm ET.