BOSTON — The Houston Dash battled back from a two-goal deficit against the Boston Breakers at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium but conceded a late own goal to hand them their first loss of the season on Sunday evening.
Boston took an early lead in the 8th minute. A Rafinha corner kick wasn’t cleared by the Dash defense and bounced freely in the box. The ball eventually fell to Julie King in a scrum six yards from goal, and the defender poked in her first goal of the year.
Boston doubled their lead just after the half hour mark. Stephanie McCaffrey used a burst of speed to beat Niki Cross in the box, then squared a pass to Nkem Ezurike for a low, first-time finish past goalkeeper Bianca Henninger.
Houston responded in the 35th minute, however. Kealia Ohai worked her defender on the left flank and sent in a cross the found the head of Jessica McDonald for a simple finish inside the far post. It was McDonald’s second goal in as many games.
Houston pushed for the equalizing goal, but strong work in goal from Alyssa Naeher kept them at bay. Naeher dove to keep out two shots from U.S. Women’s National Team teammate Morgan Brian that looked destined for the back of the net, as well as one-on-one stops against Tiffany McCarty and Melissa Henderson.
The Dash finally got the better of Naeher in the 68th minute, as Brian picked out a long cross-field pass to McDonald behind the Breakers defense. Naeher raced off her line but McDonald beat her to the bouncing ball, lifting it first time into the open net to level the game.
The joy was short-lived, though, as Boston regained the lead four minutes later. A long free kick from Boston’s left flank floated into the Houston box. Henninger went for the catch, but the ball went just over her fingertips and deflected off the leg of Carli Lloyd at the back post and dribbled over the line.
It was the first defeat of the season for the Dash (1-1-1, 4 points) as well as the first win for the Breakers (1-1-0, 3 points). Both teams return to action next Saturday, as the Dash host FC Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium and Boston travels to face the Western New York Flash.
Boston Breakers (1-0-1, 3 points) vs. Houston Dash (1-1-1, 4 points)
NWSL regular season
April 26, 2015 — Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium, Boston, MA
Scoring by Period 1 2 F
Houston Dash 1 1 2
Boston Breakers 2 1 3
Boston: Julie King 1 (unassisted) 8
Boston: Nkem Ezurike 1 (Stephanie McCaffrey 1) 31
Houston: Jessica McDonald 2 (Kealia Ohai 1) 35
Houston: Jessica McDonald 3 (Morgan Brian 2) 68
Boston: Carli Lloyd (own goal) 72
Houston Dash: Bianca Henninger; Ella Masar ©, Niki Cross, Stephanie Ochs (Carleigh Williams 18, Stephanie Roche 80), Meghan Klingenberg; Carli Lloyd, Rachael Axon, Morgan Brian; Tiffany McCarty (Melissa Henderson 68), Kealia Ohai
Unused Substitutes: Megan Kinneman, Ashley Nick
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Carli Lloyd 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Jessica McDonald, Morgan Brian 2); SAVES: 4 (Bianca Henninger 4); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Morgan Brian 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (Jessica McDonald 2); FOULS: 7 (Niki Cross 3)
Boston Breakers: Alyssa Naeher; Mollie Pathman, Julie King, Kassey Kallman ©, Maddy Evans; Stephanie Verdoia (Katie Schoepfer 58), Amy Barczuk, Rafinha (Suzane Pires 65), Kristie Mewis; Nkem Ezurike (Morgan Marlbrough 74), Stephanie McCaffrey
Unused Substitutes: Jami Kranich, Ketlen, Bia, Rachel Wood
TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (Kristie Mewis 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Rafinha 2); SAVES: 4 (Alyssa Naeher 4); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Rafinha 6); OFFSIDES: 1 (Stephanie McCaffrey 1); FOULS: 9 (Maddy Evans 3)
HOU: Niki Cross (caution) 44
BOS: Maddy Evans (caution) 55
HOU: Stephanie Roche (caution) 90
Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referees: Ian McKay, Stephen Danisi
Fourth Official: Randall Kelly