Jazmine Reeves netted her first career hat-trick as the Boston Breakers defeated the Portland Thorns 4-1 tonight at Harvard Stadium.
Breakers head coach Tom Durkin made a bold move prior to the match by removing regular starters Heather O’Reilly, Lianne Sanderson, Joanna Lohman and Kristie Mewis (who recently returned from injury) from the team’s starting lineup.
The move paid off, leaving the Thorns suffering from two consecutive losses.
Reeves, who previously clocked just 86 minutes in three games played, immediately came out with a bang, assisting on teammate Nkem Ezurike’s goal just two minutes after kickoff.
Portland’s leading-scorer, Jessica McDonald, nearly gave the visitors the all-important equalizer in the 16th minute, but Boston’s Alyssa Naeher came way off her line, denying the forward.
The 24th minute saw Reeves earn her first professional goal. After current FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Nadine Angerer blocked Courtney Jones’ initial shot, Reeves pounced on the rebound and gave the Breakers a 2-0 lead.
With the Breakers in full control during the first half, things went from bad to worse for the Thorns just three minutes before halftime when the team was reduced to 10 women. As Ezurike was making a run down the field, Kat Tarr took the forward down and was shown a straight red card by the referee as Portland’s last defender back.
Just minutes later, Reeves chipped the ball over Angerer for her second of the match and a 3-0 lead in the final minute of the half.
The second half saw Portland’s Christine Sinclair score her first goal of the 2014 season in the 62nd minute. Unfortunately for the Thorns, the team was outclassed by Reeves once more, with the forward completing her hat-trick in the 59th minute.
Prior to the match, Sinclair had taken 31 shots (16 on goal) in 720 minutes, while Reeves took three shots (none on goal) in 86 minutes.
Two of Boston’s regular starters, O’Reilly and Sanderson, made their way into the match during the 61st and 75th minutes respectively, but Mewis remained on the bench while Lohman was made unavailable for the game.
Tonight’s loss gives the Thorns a second consecutive loss. The team won’t play again for another 10 days, hosting the Western New York Flash at Providence Park on June 7.
The Breakers next host the Washington Spirit on Sunday, June 1 and after tonight, Durkin certainly has had quite a few players make great cases for cracking into that starting lineup.
BOS – Nkem Ezurike (1) – 2’
BOS – Jazmine Reeves (1) – 24’
BOS – Jazmine Reeves (2) – 45’
BOS – Jazmine Reeves (3) – 59’
PTFC – Christine Sinclair (1) – 62’
BOS: Alyssa Naeher, Courtney Jones (Lianne Sanderson 75), Cat Whitehill, Jazmyne Avant, Ashley Grove, Julie King, Bianca D’Agostino, Jazmine Reeves, Nkem Ezurike (Heather O’Reilly 61), Chelsea Stewart (Nikki Washington 66), Madlyn Evans
POR: Nadine Angerer, Nikki Marshall, Angie Kerr (Sarah Huffman 54), Kat Tarr, Emily Menges, Amber Brooks (Meleana Shim 46), Sinead Farrelly, Courtney Niemiec (Rebecca Moros 75), Allie Long, Christine Sinclair, Jessica McDonald
BOS – Courtney Jones (Caution) 39’
POR – Kat Tarr (Ejection) 42’
POR – Meleana Shim (Caution) 58’
BOS – Cat Whitehill (Caution) 65’
BOS – Bianca D’Agostino (Caution) 73’