May 22, 2016
MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
Breakers capture first victory
U.S. national team defender Whitney Engen’s 19th-minute goal off a corner kick made the difference as the the Boston Breakers defeated FC Kansas City, 1-0, for their first win of the season before a 3,288 crowd at Harvard’s Jordan Field Sunday night.
Brooke Elby, making her first start of the season, earned a corner after crossing from the right. Kristie Mewis then sent the corner kick to the far post, Engen timing her run and outjumping two defenders to head in the Breakers’ first goal of the season.
“We worked on it in training yesterday and we were focusing on the back post,” Engen said. “Kristie Mewis served a gorgeous ball and it kind of got lost in the sun. It just appeared, and I stuck it in the back of the net.”
“Tonight, from start to finish, I thought we were fantastic,” Breakers (1-5-0, 3 points) coach Matt Beard said.
The Breakers (1-5-0, 3 points) snapped a six-match scoreless streak and 561-minute consecutive minute scoreless streak extending to last season. Libby Stout earned her first NWSL shutout and the first shutout victory for the Breakers since a 1-0 home win over FC Kansas City on May 30.
In the 36th minute, Stout charged out to cut the angle and made one of her four saves near the top of the penalty area on a Mandy Laddish shot from the left.
Late in the half, Elby went in on Nicole Barnhart, who a lunging save. In the waning moments of stoppage time, Katie Schopfer headed just over the bar off a ball from Mewis from 35 yards out.
Schoepfer had another near miss in the 57th minute, her one-timed a cross toward an open net deflected away. Ten minutes later, Schoepfer went in on Barnhart off a Kyah Simon feed, the ball deflected to Simon, who shot wide. In the 77th minute, Simon rocketed a shot off the post off a Louise Schillgard pass.
The Breakers’ back line – Julie King, Mollie Pathman, Kassey Kallman and Engen – remained compact, Pathman making a key block in the 84th minute on Alex Arlitt.
“It was a relief to get the goal and a relief to get the win,” Beard said, “because now we can actually enjoy the football.”