By Kathryn Leeber
(July 1, 2017) – The Boston Breakers defeated the Washington Spirit Saturday afternoon at Jordan Field in Allston, Mass in front of 2,523 fans.
The 1-0 win came from a goal courtesy of rookie forward Margaret Purce, who came into the game in the 62nd minute.
“I’m proud of them, I thought we defended well today. We knew we needed to come away with a win today,” said Breakers head coach Matt Beard. “It’s a pleasing, win and it’s another clean sheet, which is another positive, and we can build from that.”
Washington (3-5-2) started the game testing Boston early on. In the sixth minute, following a corner kick from Kristie Mewis that fell to the feet of Whitney Church, defender Brooke Elby was able to clear Church’s shot right near the goal line.
Shortly after, the Breakers (3-6-3) had their first chance when Adriana Leon sent a ball to Emilie Haavi who hit a high shot, one that Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé was able to catch. A minute later, Breakers keeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme tipped out a ball off a Washington cross.
Leon later went for another attempt as she tried to get around a Washington defender, but the ball was stolen from her. She was able to retrieve it and turned to immediately shoot, but the ball went over the net.
Morgan Andrews had another close moment for the Breakers. It came in the 25th minute. As the team recovered possession, the ball was played to Andrews who sent the ball to the top left corner, but Labbé was able to get her hand on it and stop the shot.
The Spirit kept testing the Breakers defense as Mewis took a free kick, but the ball went directly into Prudhomme’s gloves.
Boston kept up their pressure when Elby sent a ball to Leon. She danced around the defender to make some space and get a shot off, but the ball was deflected by Washington.
Purce entered the match in the second half and made an immediate impact when she shot the ball from just outside the box, but Labbé made the save. The Breakers were able to build on this momentum as Elby passed the ball to Rosie White, who sent a shot to the bottom left corner, forcing a diving save from Labbé.
The lone goal of the game came in the 73rd minute. Off a corner, White sent a pass to Purce, who was able to dodge her defender outside of the box and take a few steps before launching the ball to the back of the net.
“We said this at halftime to the group that we’re driving into players when we can give it and then receive it back in the space and we’ve got to a better job of that, but I thought (Purce) did well with that today,” said Beard of the goal. “She was getting her head up. She was looking for the passes.”
Washington tried to come back with 10 minutes remaining in the match when Estefania Banini received a pass and tried to head it into the goal, but the shot went directly to Prudhomme.
The Breakers took one last opportunity to extend their lead as Andrews sent a long pass to Ifeoma Onumono who went one on one with Labbé, but her shot went to the right of the net.
With this win, Boston moves into eighth place in the NWSL standings. The Breakers next home game is Friday, July 7 at 7 p.m. ET as the team takes on the Chicago Red Stars at Jordan Field in Allston, Mass. Tickets to all home games are available by calling 617-945-1704 or by visiting breakerstickets.com.
Notes: Defender and captain Julie King made her 99th appearance for the Breakers, inching closer to Kristine Lilly for most all-time as a Breaker. King is now just three appearances behind Lilly (102) … Goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme recorded her second straight shutout. She made a career-high five saves.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Boston Breakers vs. Washington Spirit
Date: July 1, 2017
Venue: Jordan Field, Allston, Mass.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Weather: 85 degrees, sunny
1 2 F
BOS 0 1 1
WAS 0 0 0
BOS – Margaret Purce (Rosie White, 73)
BOS: 15-Sammy Jo Prudhomme; 3-Brooke Elby, 8-Julie King (C), 4-Megan Oyster, 2-Alyssha Chapman; 26-Angela Salem, 25-Morgan Andrews, 10-Rosie White; 7-Emilie Haavi (21-Margaret Purce, 62), 9-Natasha Dowie (22-Ifeoma Onumonu, 81), 19-Adriana Leon (18-Tiffany Weimer, 75)
Subs not used: 1-Libby Stout, 17-Amanda Frisbie
Head Coach: Matt Beard
WAS: 1-Stephanie Labbe, 4-Shelina Zadorsky, 5-Whitney Church, 6-Kassey Kallman (3-Caprice Dydasco, 81), 24-Estelle Johnson, 19-Kristie Mewis (10-Estefania Banini, 67), 23-Tori Huster, 29-Meggie Dougherty Howard, 9-Havana Solaun, 14-Francisca Ordega, 20-Cheyna Williams (11-Mallory Pugh, 46)
Subs not used: 2-Arielle Ship, 8-Lindsay Agnew, 21-DiDi Haracic, 22-Alyssa Kleiner
Head Coach: Jim Gabarra
Stats Summary: BOS / WAS
Shots: 10 / 17
Shots on goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 4 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 10 / 14
Offside: 1 / 11
BOS – Allysha Chapman (caution, 62’)
WAS – Estelle Johnson (caution, 64’)
Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
Assistant Referee 1: Maggie Short
Assistant Referee 2: Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Randall Kelley