The Boston Breakers earned a team win on a sunny Sunday afternoon in their 2017 home opener at Jordan Field. That's a much faster start than last year, as their first goal in 2016 came during their sixth match, a 1-0 May 22nd home victory vs. FC Kansas City. Onward and upward.
After an away defeat at FC Kansas City last weekend to open this season's campaign, the Breakers came home and built upon what had been a fairly robust performance despite the 2-0 result. Captain Julie King had missed the FCKC match, but was sufficiently fit to reprise her role on defense this week, and her stable presence injected confidence across the back line.
Boston's two Canadian players, Allysha Chapman and Adriana Leon, who'd missed much of the spring away on international duty, had a dramatically improved game connecting with their teammates (and one another).
Rosie White and Rose Lavelle found a rhythm with one another and didn't end up in the same spaces, both utilizing Angela Salem to reset as necessary, while also delivering balls forward for Natasha Dowie and Leon.
Rose Lavelle, whose equally-famous dog Wilma had made the trek to Jordan Field, slipped a perfect pass to Dowie that the English striker stung past the dive of Sky Blue's Kailen Sheridan.
After the match, Breakers boss Matt Beard was full of praise for his team and their effort.
Last to arrive at the mixed zone, Breakers GK Abby Smith was in good spirits having kept her first clean sheet of the season, and having received a box of cupcakes (funfetti, delicious) after the match.
Smith had some buzz around her as a possible future USWNT Goalkeeper last year, but the knee injury she suffered early in the season silenced that speculation temporarily. In February, a Four Four Two article again mentioned Smith as a viable candidate for a June camp call-up. But neither Smith nor her coach has yet heard from Jill Ellis.
Smith, for her part, said, "June? It's only April. I'm preparing one week at a time."