Breakers Break Even

Posted on 23 May 2011 by ASN Staff


Allston, MA (May 22, 2011) – Lauren Cheney knocked in a header on the goalline in the 48th minute to preserve a 1-1 tie for the Breakers (2-4-1) in their match Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Independence (2-1-2).

In front of 6,128 fans at Harvard Stadium, the Breakers snapped a two-game losing streak with the draw, the team’s first tie since Sept. 11, 2010, when they drew, 0-0 with Sky Blue FC on the road.

Tasha Kai put Philadelphia ahead in the 44th minute when she took a pass from Lianne Sanderson, cut back, and made a move to avoid Breakers defender Amy LePeilbet. Nearing the top of the box, Kai unleashed a shot that beat Boston keeper Alyssa Naeher. It was Kai’s second goal against Boston this season.

Less than three minutes into the second half, Cheney pulled Boston level, following up a header by rookie midfielder Keelin Winters. The play began when Breakers defender Alex Scott sent midfielder Kelley O’Hara on a run on the right side. O’Hara crossed it to Winters, who lined a header right on goal. Philadelphia keeper Nicole Barnhart managed to get her fingertips on the ball, but it dropped down right on the line, and that’s where Cheney headed it in for her first goal of the season.

“That was Keelin’s goal for sure. It could’ve been in before I headed it in, but I wanted to make sure it got into the back of the net,” Cheney said. “It was a great header by Keelin.”

Kai nearly gave Philadelphia the lead in the 61st minute, taking a well-played through ball from Tina DiMartino into the box and lining a shot on goal, but Boston keeper Alyssa Naeher made the save, one of eight on the night. Five minutes later, the Breakers tried taking advantage of a short corner played by Kelly Smith to Liz Bogus. Bogus hit it right back to Smith, who then looped a ball into the box where Winters hit a header over the crossbar.

In the 68th minute, the action picked up again. This time DiMartino put a shot on goal, one that Naeher had to dive to stop. Three minutes later, Philadelphia had a two-on-one break with Amy Rodriguez taking the ball into the 18 and to the left of Naeher. Rodriguez tried crossing the ball, but LePeilbet stuck out her leg and deflected the dangerous pass. Each team put a shot on goal in the final 20 minutes, but each keeper came up big to preserve the tie. Barnhart denied Breakers midfielder Leslie Osborne on a quick strike 6 yards from goal in the 72nd minute, and Naeher stopped a free kick by Sanderson in the 82nd minute.

“I like the way we came out in the second half,” Breakers Head Coach Tony DiCicco said. “They’re a good team. They’ve got speed up top. (Tasha) Kai on the counter attack, we give it up in the midfield, and she makes us pay. But for the most part, our defense did a good job against a very dangerous team. They didn’t really have that many really good looks at our goal, and I thought we had some great looks. I’m happy with the team. We’re still getting there. We’re still developing some of the younger players who need to really give us a boost here down the stretch. It was a good performance, especially in the second half for us, coming back and getting a goal. I’m disappointed we didn’t get the win, but I’m pleased with the performance.”

The Breakers head to New Jersey on Saturday, May 28, at 7 p.m. to take on Sky Blue FC (1-3-1). Sunday’s tie keeps Boston in fourth place in the WPS table, one point behind Philadelphia and three points ahead of both Sky Blue FC and the Atlanta Beat.

At halftime, the Breakers retired Kristine Lilly’s No. 13. Lilly became the first person in WPS history to have her number retired. An emotional Lilly addressed the fans following the video tribute that highlighted her legendary career.

“I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks for all the support through all the years. It doesn’t go without notice,” Lilly said. “Everytime I stepped on the soccer field, I gave all I had.”

Following the game, Lilly said, “I think the whole halftime caught me off guard. I didn’t think I was going to get as emotional as I did. But it was great. The crowd was great tonight. The video brought back memories. Having my family here was really nice. It was just a really, really nice night.”


Breakers Head Coach Tony DiCicco on Keelin Winters: “Keelin was a great pickup. I knew her from coaching in the 2008 U-20 World Cup. She’s an excellent header of the ball. She’s fit. She runs hard. She’s a fighter. She’s been very, very solid. For a rookie, she’s played like a veteran. I can’t ask more of her. I’m very happy with her.”

Breakers midfielder Kelly O’Hara: “I think the difference between the first half and the second half was all of us being on the same page. Starting the second half knowing we needed to get a goal and trying to go for the win, and obviously we equalized. Everyone just stepped up their level so that’s why it appeared I was getting in the attack more. As a whole we just all took it to the next level.”

O’Hara on Cheney’s goal: “Alex (Scott) brought the ball down and she engaged their outside back and that kind of left me open on the outside and she played a great ball. (Keelin) Winters did a great job winning that ball and getting a header on goal and Barney (Nicole Barnhart) made the save and Cheney was there to finish it up.”

Boston Breakers midfielder Keelin Winters on setting up Lauren Cheney’s goal: “At the beginning of the game, Tony (DiCicco) just told our outside mids to find me at the edge of the 18-yard box so I rounded my run, I looked up and made sure I raised my hand. They saw me and just headed it towards goal. I think the goalie got a hand to it, and Cheney just followed it up and made sure it was in.”

Winters on playing in the WPS: “Coming into the WPS season it has been quite a transition from college, keeping up with the speed of play. Fortunately, I think I’ve been able to do that. It’s helpful when you have teammates around you communicating, letting me know when I can turn. It’s been hard to adjust, but I have really great teammates around me making it that much easier. Growing up, I knew I always wanted to play professional soccer so this is a dream come true. I’m glad the WPS is around. I remember watching her (Kristine Lilly) in the ’99 World cup. The WPS wasn’t around then, but I knew I wanted to play professional soccer. It’s a blessing for me to be able to play in this league.

Philadelphia Head Coach Paul Riley: “Anytime you get a point away from home against a team like Boston, I think it’s a well-earned point. We came here with a 4-3-3. We felt on the basis of winning 2-nil a couple week ago, that if we came out and attacked that we’d get an early goal and maybe draw Boston out a but, but that didn’t happen. Obviously, we’ve got the goal before halftime, but we gave up a suicide goal in the second half. We talked at halftime about keeping (Breakers defender) Alex Scott quiet. We didn’t get it done. (Breakers forward) Kelly Smith was fantastic. She ran the show. But I think a draw is a fair result overall. We created some great chances. Boston had some great moments. I thought it was a pretty good game. A point is better for us than it is for Boston. I think when you’re in this league, you’ve got to win your home games and you’ve got to try to get points as best you can on the road because last year we finished 3-7-2 on the road. We’re happy with the result. It’s going to be a battle to the end. Boston’s a great rival. It’s almost like a derby game. I look forward to playing them. It’s a great stadium. The fans are probably the best in the league, and they draw the most fans too. It’s always a good rivalry.

Philadelphia’s Tasha Kai: “Lianne Sanderson got the ball. I made a looping run. She played it with the outside of her foot. Took a first touch to goal, Amy LePeilbet cut my angle off, so I cut back the ball. I saw the keeper kind of hesitant so I just drilled it near post, and it beat her. I get drilled at all the time not to cut the ball back, but I do it all the time anyways, and this time I’m lucky the ball went in because I would’ve got reemed after the game. I just feel like her (Amy LePeilbet) momentum was taking her past me, so I cut the ball back and my next touch was the shot, and I beat both of them near post.”

Boston Breakers (2-4-1) vs. Philadelphia Independence (2-1-2)

Sunday, May 22, 2011 — Harvard Stadium



Team            1            2            F

BOS:            0            1            1

PHI:            1            0            1

PHI: Tasha Kai 2 (Unassisted) 44′

BOS: Lauren Cheney 1 (Keelin Winters) 48′

BOSTON BREAKERS — Alyssa Naeher, Stephanie Cox, Amy LePeilbet, Rachel Buehler, Alex Scott, Leslie Osborne, Keelin Winters (Kasey Moore, 77′), Nikki Washington (Liz Bogus, 16′, Taryn Hemmings, 85′), Kelley O’Hara, Kelly Smith, Lauren Cheney

Substitutes Not Used: Ifeoma Dieke, Ashley Phillips, Katie Schoepfer, Leah Blayney

PHILADELPHIA INDEPENDENCE — Nicole Barnhart, Leigh Ann Robinson, Nikki Krzysik, Estelle Johnson, Megan Rapinoe, Jen Buczkowski, Tina DiMartino (Holmfridur Magnusdottir, 69′), Lianne Sanderson, Sinead Farrelly (Lori Lindsey, 73′), Tasha Kai, Laura del Rio (Amy Rodriguez, 55′)

Substitutes Not Used: Joanna Lohman, Val Henderson


BOS        PHI

Shots 9 14

Shots on Goal        6 9

Fouls 13 9

Offsides 2 2

Corner Kicks 3 0

Saves 8 5



Attendance: 6,128

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.

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