Sky Blue FC jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 26 minutes of play and were able to stave off a late push by the Breakers to stay in the league lead with a 3-2 win in Boston on Sunday night in front of 2,687 fans.
Lisa De Vanna continued to be a thorn in the side of the Breakers, notching an early tally and both Katy Freels and Monica Ocampo got their first career NWSL goals, with Freels getting the game winner.
Freels’ goal came in the 70th minute when Danesha Adams took a pass from Kendall Johnson and slipped a ball across the box to Freels. The midfielder blasted a right-footed shot first time upper 90.
De Vanna got Sky Blue FC on the board in the ninth minute, scoring her fifth goal of the season (and third against Boston). Kendall Johnson switched fields with a long cross from the left side. It was initially headed out by a Breakers defender but fell right to Ocampo’s foot. Ocampo put the cross in for De Vanna who one-timed a left-footed shot past Ashley Phillips.
The visitors doubled their lead in the 26th minute when Katy Freels played a cross into the box that deflected off of a Breakers defender. The ball fell to Ocampo who cleaned it up and buried it for the 2-0 lead.
Boston looked to get on the board in the latter stages of the first half when midfielder Maddy Evans played Kyah Simon in behind the Sky Blue FC defense but the pass was just out of her reach and Brittany Cameron collected it easily.
The Breakers best opportunity to get one back came just before halftime when Katie Schoepfer hit a shot that seemed like it was going in but her shot was blocked by Coco Goodson. Lianne Sanderson tried a follow-up shot and had it blocked.
The second half saw the Breakers make a switch between the pipes, bringing on Naeher for Ashley Phillips. Naeher was signed on June 1 and played for the Breakers in 2010 and 2011 during WPS.
Boston was able to get one goal back at the hour mark when Julie King looped a cross from the left side towards the far post. The ball fell perfectly to Joanna Lohman who powered a header past Cameron.
There was a lengthy delay during the second half when Alyssa Naeher collided with Sky Blue FC forward Nayeli Rangel. The injury resulted in a massive seven minutes of stoppage time and about halfway through Boston was able to pull back within a goal off a corner kick from Katie Schoepfer. Her kick found the head of Australian forward Simon who redirected it past Cameron.
The league-leading New Jersey club was able to keep the Breakers off the scoreboard for the remainder of stoppage time and secured the victory and their place atop the league. The Breakers have gone 0-3-1 in June.
Sky Blue FC remains tied with Portland at the top of the standings at 8-2-1 (25 points) and the two clubs will battle it out at Yurcak field on June 22 at 7pm ET. Boston falls to fifth place at 3-4-3 (12 points) and will host Seattle on June 26 at 7pm ET.
- National team players missing: Sky Blue FC has shown that they can play without their United States and Canadian internationals when they need to. Boston has struggled without Heather O’Reilly and Sydney Leroux finishing off chances.
- Alyssa Naeher injury: According to post-game reports, Naeher may have suffered a broken nose in the collision with Rangel. There have been no confirmations from the Breakers at this time.
- Boston slump: After starting the season 3-1-2, the Breakers have gotten just one point in the month of June. The Breakers need to turn it around – and soon – if they want to make a chase towards the playoff picture. They are currently four points behind FC Kansas City who is sitting in fourth place.
Goals by Half 1 2 F
SBFC 2 1 3
BOS 0 2 2
SBFC – De Vanna (9′); Ocampo (26′); Freels (70′)
BOS – Lohman (60′); Simon (90+’)
BOS – Dragotta (69′)
Sky Blue: Brittany Cameron, CoCo Goodson, Caitlin Foord, Kendall Johnson, Manya Makoski, Madeleine Thompson, Taylor Lytle, Monica Ocampo (Lindsi Cutshall, 90+’), Danesha Adams, Lisa De Vanna (Nayeli Rangel, 46′), Katy Freels
Boston: Ashley Phillips (Alyssa Naeher, 46′), Julie King, Cat Whitehill, Kia McNeill, Jo Dragotta (Kate Howarth, 90+’), Mariah Nogueira, Maddy Evans, Joanna Lohman, Lianne Sanderson, Kyah Simon, Katie Schoepfer