by Elan-Paolo DeCarlo / June 2, 2014
On a beautiful Sunday night in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jodie Taylor proved to be too much for the Boston Breakers, netting two goals to help the Washington Spirit defeat the Boston Breakers 3-2. The victory gives the Spirit a winning record, bringing them to 5-4-1 and 3rd place in the NWSL. Boston falls to 2-7-0 and last place.
Washington was without Robyn Gayle, who suffered a concussion in their last game against the Houston Dash.
The first half belonged to the Boston Breakers, who generated several chances from crosses and through constant pressure of the Spirit defense. In the 29th minute, they broke the stalemate when Kristie Mewis found Lianne Sanderson, who turned in the box to get a low driven shot past Ashlyn Harris to make the score 1-0.
The Spirit responded quickly. In the 32nd minute, a lob into the Breakers defense was knocked down and the officials called a handball, giving the Spirit a free kick just outside the 18-yard box. Yael Averbuch and Christine Nairn lined up side by side, creating chaos as to who would take the shot. Ultimately, it was Nairn who ripped a shot past Breakers keeper Alyssa Naeher to tie the score at 1-1.
The tie did not last long. In the 37th minute, Lisa De Vanna played a ball from the sideline to Sanderson in the box. Controlling the ball, Sanderson took one touch and a shot the ball to the left corner to beat Harris for her second goal of the match. Sanderson has 4 goals on the season, leading the Breakers.
The Spirit came out strong to start the second half. In the 48th minute, Jodie Taylor received a cross from Diana Matheson and with a cheeky little touch, lifted it over Naeher for the 2-2 score.
Later in the half, Boston substituted Maddy Evans in for Kathryn Schoepfer, Jazmine Reeves for Lisa De Vanna and Nkemjika Ezurike for Kristie Mewis.
In the 73rd minute, a Breakers cross found Catherine Whitehill who rose for the header and drove it past Harris into the net. To the fortune for the Spirit, it was flagged offside. Almost immediately following, Taylor stole the ball in the Breaker’s defensive third, creating a one on one breakaway chance in which she beat Naeher to score her second goal of the match, giving the Spirit a 3-2 lead. It was her 5th of the season.
In the 77th minute, the Spirit subbed Veronica Perez and Renae Cuellar for Lori Lindsey and Jodie Taylor. Jordan Angeli subbed in for Christine Nairn in the 88th minute.
The Spirit would hold off on a series of rushes from the Breakers to seal the game. Harris was credited with 3 saves to earn the win.
The Spirit’s next game is on Wednesday June 4th, in Chicago against the Red Stars.