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Spirit give up early lead, fall to Boston 5-2

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Boyds, Md. (July 27, 2013) - Diana Matheson‘s second minute goal provided early excitement for the Washington Spirit on Saturday at the Maryland SoccerPlex, but a relentless Boston Breakers attack would prove to be the story of the night.

Boston (6-7-5) scored four unanswered goals and would go on to defeat Washington (1-12-4) 5-2 in front of a crowd of 2,607.

“We showed some fight, and got two goals in the flow of play and that was a big lift for everybody,” Spirit head coach Mark Parsons said. “Boston deserved it on their quality, and their ability to score goals, we’ve just got to try and get some healthy bodies back.”

Matheson opened the scoring less than 90 seconds into the match on a breakaway goal set up by Jasmyne Spencer. The Canadian midfielder added to her team-high with her seventh goal, streaking past the entire Boston defense and finishing into the right side of the net from in front of the left post.

Mariah Nogueira notched an equalizer for Boston in the fifth minute when she buried a perfect cross from Heather O’Reilly with a header.

The Breakers found the net again in the 42nd minute when Lianne Sanderson connected on a sliding shot after receiving a pass from Rhian Wilkinson.

After going into halftime down 2-1, the Spirit conceded two more Boston goals early in the second half before finding a rally of their own. Wilkinson added to her points total with an unassisted goal in the 48th minute, which was closely followed by a Heather O’Reilly penalty kick in the 56th.

O’Reilly gave Boston a 4-1 lead by rolling the PK into the bottom left corner of the net as Ashlyn Harris made a move to the right.

Conny Pohlers answered O’Reilly’s PK with her first goal in a Spirit uniform, a strong header into the right side of the net from in front of the left post. Stephanie Ochs provided the assist with a well-placed cross from the right sideline.

In the 78th minute, just five minutes after Pohlers tallied for D.C., Cat Whitehill completed the scoring by blasting a loose ball through a scrum following a Boston corner kick.

Lindsay Taylor made her first start for the Spirit, playing the entire match, most of which was spent on defense. The already shorthanded Washington back line lost Candace Chapman to injury in just the seventh minute. There is no word yet on the extent of Chapman’s leg injury.

The Spirit return to action on Wednesday, July 31 when they travel to Rochester, N.Y. to face the fourth place Western New York Flash. Kickoff is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Following another road match against Sky Blue FC on Aug. 3, the teams returns home on Wednesday, Aug. 7 to face the Chicago Red Stars at 7:30 p.m. ET.