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Leroux scores again as Breakers draw Reign 1-1

Sydney Leroux (left) is now NWSL co-leader in goals with eight. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

Sydney Leroux scored her eighth goal of the season to help the Boston Breakers earn a 1-1 tie on Wednesday night on the road against Seattle Reign FC.

Leroux is now tied for the National Women’s Soccer League golden boot race. FC Kansas City’s Lauren Cheney also has eight goals.

Seattle, now unbeaten in four-straight games after starting the season 0-9-2, took the lead in the 54th minute when Christine Nairn’s left-footed cross skipped past Breakers defender Kia McNeill and bounced to Jessica McDonald, who calmly tucked the ball into the net in her debut with the team. McDonald was picked up on waivers last week after nine games with Chicago.

Boston had the better of the first half chances, with Joanna Lohman’s header hitting the crossbar in the 42nd minute and Lianne Sanderson sending a low shot just wide of goal at the half-hour mark. Seattle goalkeeper Hope Solo came up with a big save in the 45th minute when Katie Schoepfer settled the ball for a left-footed shot from 12 yards out.

Leroux scored the equalizer in the 62nd minute when Heather O’Reilly’s low cross from the left flank deflected off Kaylyn Kyle’s foot and skipped toward Leroux for a tap-in on the line.

Seattle nearly found the winner on several occasions, but Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher came up huge, including in the 70th minute when she denied McDonald a second goal. Seconds later, Keelin Winters snapped a header from six yards down into the ground and up over the crossbar.

It was 10 days ago that Seattle (2-9-3, 9 pts.) earned its first win of the season against the Breakers in suburban Boston.

Kyle and teammate Jessica Fishlock each earned yellow cards in the game for overly-aggressive tackles. Both now have four yellow cards this season. An automatic suspension is instilled when a player reaches her fifth yellow card of the season.

Renae Cuellar made her Reign debut in the 65th minute after being shipped over from Kansas City in Monday’s blockbuster trade. Cuellar forced Naeher into a save within a minute of entering the game.

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