The Boston Breakers earned their first ever victory, beating the Western New York Flash 2-1 in a game they dominated from start to finish. The talent mtchup was skewed as Boston outplayed the Flash all over the pitch, leaving the Flash almost unresponsive during times. The Breakers have Heather O'Reilly to thank for that as she ran the width and length of the field in order to maintain or find possession of the ball.
The Flash have experienced an unusual set of obstacles in the early stages of the season, and they had to do without both Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach. With two talented players absent from the field, all of the pressure fell on Samantha Kerr's shoulders. Luckily for the Flash she is strong enough to produce scoring opportunities for the team but she cannot act as a one-man-team. Kerr and McCall Zerboni did their best to carry the team, but they couldn't prevent their squad from falling apart midway through the first half and throughout the second.
Even though Adrienne Franch gave up two goals, she still had the strongest performance of the night for the Flash because the Breakers had countless on-frame shots that were kept out by Franch. She was tested in the sixth minute when Boston got behind the defence, but Franch was on hand to slide in and grab the ball. Franch immediately set up a counterattack that sparked the game's first goal. Laura Heyboer sent a cross to Kerr who was sitting at the side of the net. Kerr chipped in the ball past Cecilia Santiago to gift the Flash with the lead.
The Breakers quickly followed suit to find the equalizer and came close in the 14th minute with a promising run by Heather O'Reilly, who deceived Franch by forcing her off her line to make a save on an impending cross, leaving the net wide open, but the delivery was unattacked and therefore unmet. Two minutes later, however, Boston had their goal, with Sydney Leroux finding O'Reilly unmarked. A straightforward finish later and the match was back on level terms.
The Flash lost their grip on defense as the Breakers kept charging through the box, allowing O'Reilly more time on the ball and the chance to create opportunities in a partnership with Leroux. In the 20th minute O'Reilly was poorly covered by Katherine Reynolds, the play concluding with a low shot with Franch gathered. The Breakers were much improved from their opening game; they presented more composure and confidence on the ball with greater passing techniques than they did in their week one match against the Washington Spirit.
The first half packed the most punch. Zerboni almost notched a lead for the Flash in the 23rd minute, hitting the side netting instead of Santiago's goal. Franch remained active at the other end of the field as she made a stop to a midfield strike in the 28th minute, and was forced to fall on top of a ball in the 36th with a charging Lianne Sanderson coming down the center.
The second half was lackluster aside from O'Reilly's 82nd minute goal, which saw her nutmeg Franch after being played in by a delicious through ball. The winner was deserved -- the Flash were under pressure all game, and didn't do enough to earn even a draw. The Breakers kept pushing and pushing and eventually claimed the points.