Natasha Dowie’s goal 10 minutes into her NWSL debut was enough to carry the Breakers to their second victory of the season, 1-0 over the Orlando Pride. The final match before the NWSL steps aside for the Olympics was played before an NWSL-era Breakers record 4,379 at Jordan Field.
There was not too much in the way of offense for either team throughout the 90 minutes. The Breakers goal came in the 10th minute and built up from goalkeeper Jami Kranich who recorded her first shutout of the season. The ball went quickly up the right flank and Kristen Edmonds, playing out of position at left back, attempted to touch it to safety. But Edmonds’s touch served as a perfect through ball to Dowie who wasted no time running on to it and beating Kaitlyn Savage.
Dowie’s goal marked the third straight game the Breakers went on top before 10 minutes were played. After suffering a late loss in Orlando and getting run over by Sky Blue at home, this time they held sway to earn the victory. The Pride’s closest call came on a first half free kick when Edmonds found Becky Edwards at the near post and her header bounced off the post. The Pride also called for a penalty when Jasmyne Spencer dribbled into a double team and went down during stoppage time, but play was allowed to continue.
The win allows the Breakers (2-11-1, 7 pts) to take some positive energy into the break even though they are mathematically eliminated from reaching the playoffs. The Pride (6-9-0) are still alive but will need a strong final give games after the break and maybe some help as well to sneak into the top four in their first season. When the dust clears the Pride will host the Washington Spirit on Friday, August 26. The Breakers will be in Kansas City on Sunday, August 28.
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