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Hard luck again for Breakers in loss to Red Stars

Lori Chalupny scored the only goal in Chicago's 1-0 win over Boston. (Photo courtesy Chicago Red Stars/Smith)

For the second time in five days, the referee crew was a key part of the narrative for the Boston Breakers dropping points. They’ll hope that trend doesn’t continue.

The Chicago Red Stars beat Boston 1-0 on Sunday at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. Lori Chalupny’s goal in the 26th minute was the lone tally on the scoreboard, but it was a potential goal that didn’t count dominating the storyline.

Sydney Leroux looked like she struck the equalizer in the 65th minute when she got hold of Katie Schoepfer’s cross from 20 yards out. Leroux’s shot went over goalkeeper Erin McLeod’s head and hit the underside of the crossbar, when it looked like it crossed the line. Leroux looked around waiting for a whistle, but it never came.

“It was in,” Breakers coach Lisa Cole said. “The goals here aren’t regulation; they are about two feet (deep) because of where the football posts are and I think this happened now in two games. It went in. It hit the back of the net, bounced down into the goal and bounced out. And it happened so quickly — the goal’s just not that deep. So it was in and the linesman on our side, she wasn’t even at the goal line. She was probably 10, 15 yards from the goal line.”

The no-call comes after Boston tied the Western New York Flash 2-2 on Wednesday in which the referee also played a role. Western New York’s Jodi-Ann Robinson scored the equalizer in stoppage time on Wednesday and Boston felt the game should have ended prior to that goal as all three minutes of stoppage time had been played.

“We cleared it and thought time was over because it had been almost four minutes at that point and there were only three minutes of extra time,” Cole said after Wednesday’s tie. “We’re looking at the clock and thinking the game is over.

“They’ve got to come out strong. Ashley (Phillips, Breakers keeper) just goes and picks up that ball off the cross, so that’s on us a little bit. You also expect the referee to be on spot. He gave them a little extra time and that’s what happens. It’s up to the referee’s discretion and we just fell a few seconds short.”

The referee at that time on Wednesday night was Boris Senic, who started the match as the fourth official but replaced John McCloskey in the center after 36 minutes because McCloskey twisted his ankle early in the match.

On Sunday, it was veteran referee Kari Seitz in the middle, with Amanda Ross and Adrienne McDonald on the sidelines as assistant referees

Boston misses out on a point in Sunday’s game in part thanks to what looked like a missed call, although the Breakers were largely outplayed on the evening. Chicago gave Boston trouble up the left flank as Rachel Quon and Taryn Hemmings pushed forward, overlapping Ella Masar frequently.

Canadian Rhian Wilkinson, who Cole says is “aware that she wasn’t at her standard” after a long week, had to deal with the bulk of that attacking play. Jo Dragotta replaced Wilkinson in the 64th minute.

Chicago’s goal came from that same side when Julianne Sitch tracked down the ball and slipped it through to Chalupny, who toe-poked it into the far side netting for the game’s only goal.

Sitch quietly controlled much of the middle of the park throughout the night, keeping league assist leader Lianne Sanderson in check and covering for defenders as they pushed forward.

“We were very good in the first half,” said Red Stars coach Rory Dames. “We were able to carry over a lot of the things we did well out of the Portland game. We had two other really good chances to get the second goal.”

Cole admitted that despite the controversial call, her team just wasn’t good enough.

“The thing is for me, we haven’t put together consistent performances,” she said. “We were bad against (Sky Blue), we were good against Western New York, but didn’t finish the game and then we weren’t that good today.

“We’re not going to be able to be a team that makes the playoffs if we can’t put together two consistent, three consistent, four consistent performances in a row. We need to get hot here.”

With the win, the Red Stars (2-4-2, 8 pts.) jump the Washington Spirit and move into sixth place. Boston falls to 3-3-3 (12 pts.) and can drop into fifth place by night’s end if FC Kansas City defeats last-place Seattle Reign FC.

It doesn’t get easier for the Breakers, who welcome league co-leaders Sky Blue FC to Dilboy Stadium on Sunday after losing 5-1 to the New Jersey side on June 1.

Chicago next hosts FC Kansas City in a home-and-home on Thursday and next Sunday.

Watch the no-call in question for yourself at the 1:47:00 mark:

Chicago Red Stars (2-4-2, 8pts) vs. Boston Breakers (3-3-3, 12pts)
June 9 th , 2013 – Village of Lisle – Benedictine University Sports Complex (Lisle, IL)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
BOS 0 0 0
CRS 1 0 1

Scoring Summary
CRS – Lori Chalupny (Julianne Sitch) 25’

Lineups:

Chicago: GK Erin McLeod , Rachel Quon, Sonja Fuss, Taryn Hemmings, Michelle Wenino, Julianne Sitch, Jackie Santacaterina, Jessica McDonald (Alyssa Mautz 70’), Lori Chalupny, Ella Masar (Lydia Vandenbergh 82’), Inka Grings
Subs not used: Maribel Dominguez, Denora Garza, Carmelina Moscato, Leslie Osborne, Taylor Vancil

Boston Breakers: GK Ashley Phillips, Julie King, Cat Whitehill, Kia McNeil, Rhian Wilkinson (Jo Dragotta 64’), Mariah Nogueira (Kyah Simon 78’), Joanna Lohman, Heather O’Reilly, Lianne Sanderson, Katie Schoepfter, Sydney Leroux
Subs not used: Alyssa Naeher

Misconduct Summary:
CRS: Michelle Wenino (Yellow Card 29’), CRS: Lori Chalupny (Yellow Card 75’)

Referee: Kari Seitz
Assistant Referees: Amanda Ross, Adrienne McDonald
Fourth Official: Donovan Noocha
Weather: 78 degrees, cloudy

Attendance: 1,129

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