Breakers’ burst makes them tough to beat
Jordan Angeli tried to process what the Boston Breakers had just done. She looked at the scoreboard and noticed only 10 minutes had passed in the second half. The Breakers were now in complete control against the Atlanta Beat, yet at halftime the Breakers were the ones who were frustrated.
Throughout the second half, Angeli kept wondering how the match turned so quickly, not even noticing the Breakers had set a Women’s Professional Soccer record.
In less than five minutes, the Breakers scored three goals, from different players, to defeat the Beat, 3-1, last night at Harvard Stadium for their first home win this season. And the record came with the Breakers missing four starters who were called away to play for the United States national team in a pair of matches this month against Sweden.
Angeli started the scoring burst in the 49th minute. With the Breakers (3-5-4, 13 points) trailing, 1-0, Angeli, a defender, decided to make a run through the middle of the field. She then sent the ball ahead to teammate Lindsay Tarpley, who jumped between two defenders for a header. Tarpley directed the ball backward, and Angeli, trailing the play, watched the ball fall right in front of her. Instead of letting it bounce off the synthetic turf, Angeli right-footed the ball into the top left corner of the net from 27 yards to tie the score.
“I don’t how the ball got to me,’’ said Angeli, who entered the match at halftime for Laura del Rio. “I just thought, ‘Might as well try it.’ I guess it was pretty good.’’
The shot caught Atlanta goalkeeper Brett Maron off guard. By the time Maron reacted, the ball was in the net.
Breakers coach Tony DiCicco was impressed by how Angeli created the scoring opportunity off a broken play.
“Jordan knew it was going to bounce somewhere,’’ DiCicco said. “She just hit a great goal. It was a dipping volley against the wind and the keeper had no chance.’’
In the 53d minute, forward Kelly Smith scored off a rebound from Tarpley. Although Maron was able to get a hand on Tarpley’s shot, Smith was in the right place for the go-ahead goal.
A minute later, the Breakers took advantage of a lapse in focus by the Beat (1-7-4, 7 points). After an Atlanta foul, Breakers midfielder Leslie Osborne quickly moved the ball downfield while the Beat defenders had their heads down. Osborne’s pass found Liz Bogus, who returned to the team last week after being released last month.
Bogus beat Maron one-on-one with a shot over the goalkeeper’s head.
“It’s been a hard month for me,’’ said Bogus, who scored her first career goal. “I believed in myself this whole time. Thankfully, Tony gave me a second chance, so this is definitely an emotional game for me.’’
Early on, the Breakers struggled to mount an attack. Turnovers and a lack of possession were their biggest problems, and led to them falling behind in the seventh minute when Atlanta forward Johanna Rasmussen scored off a rebound after Boston goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher failed to hold on to the ball after her save of Eniola Aluko’s shot.
“We didn’t really have much energy,’’ Angeli said. “I honestly thought, go in and be the spark and be the person that’s running everywhere because something good was going to come from that.’’