The Washington Spirit were kept from beating the Boston Breakers in week one thanks to a late equalising goal. This time, the hosts returned the favor in a 1-1 draw.
The Breakers came out strong, pressing the attack via Heather O'Reilly's penetrating runs, but Washington refused to concede the match. [Twenty-seven minutes after Joanna Lohman received her first goal of the tournament, Lori Lindsey would join in the celebration of ‘firsts' to notch her first goal of the season early on in the second half.]
The first 15 minutes focused on the battle between Heather O'Reilly and Ashlyn Harris. O'Reilly was unmatched in her speed, allowing her to push the ball forward on several occasions past Robin Gayle on the wing. With the Spirit defense failing to close down O'Reilly, it required Harris to make several critical saves, and the pressure nearly told -- the goalkeeper's attempted clearance in the 11th minute was mis-hit and fell onto O'Reilly's toes, only for a weak shot to bail her out.
Candace Chapman returned to the field for Washington with well intended instincts early on when she shipped a long cross into the box to find Tiffany McCarty, who was engulfed by four Boston players but managed to earn a corner kick anyway. Shortly before Boston took the lead, Lori Lindsey missed out on a golden opportunity to dispossess Mariah Nogueira in the box after she mishandled a clearance and sent it back to goalkeeper Ashley Phillips.
Boston found the lead in the 24th minute, winning possession in the midfield and setting up Lianne Sanderson to connect with an open Joanna Lohman outside the six. She netted, but the goal would turn out to be Boston's only tremendous play of the match. From then on, the Spirit dominated.
The equalizer came in the 51st minute with Washington pressing Boston outside the 18. Matheson stole a pass from Julie King to find Lindsey, who took two touches and then found the upper right hand corner of the net.
Washington are finding their niche in the competition but in order to progress they must produce more plays involving Ochs. Lindsey and Matheson - the partnership was effective in finding the holes among the Breakers back line. Matheson had a great opportunity in the box two minutes after Lindsey's equalizer but her shot was rushed, sending a low ball into the arms of Phillips who couldn't control it.