The Boston Breakers tied the Philadelphia Independence 1-1 on Sunday in front of 6,128 fans at Harvard Stadium on Kristine Lilly’s jersey retirement night.
Tasha Kai scored her second goal of the season – both of which were against Boston – in the 44th minute to give Philadelphia the 1-0 lead just before halftime. Kai collected the pass from Lianne Sanderson, beat Breakers defender Amy LePeilbet and fired a shot past Boston goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
But Lauren Cheney struck for the equalizer just three minutes into the second half. Kelley O’Hara played a ball into Keelin Winters, who headed it and forced Philadelphia goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart to make a save. But Cheney was right there to head in the rebound.
“They didn’t really have that many really good looks at our goal, and I thought we had some great looks,” Breakers Head Coach Tony DiCicco said. “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.”
Philadelphia Head Coach Paul Riley was equally pleased with his team’s performance.
“A point is better for us than it is for Boston,” Riley said. “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.”
At halftime, Lilly was honored as the first player in WPS history to have her jersey retired when the No. 13 Breakers kit was retired. An emotional Lilly was humbled by the experience.
“I couldn’t have done it without you,” Lilly said. “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.”
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