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Dowie, Lavelle lead Breakers to home opener win over Sky Blue

The Boston Breakers celebrate Natasha Dowie's first half strike against Sky Blue FC. (LINEHAN PHOTOGRAPHY/Equalizer Soccer)

The Boston Breakers bounced back from a tough Week 1 result on the road for a big win at home. Thanks to a first-half goal from forward Natasha Dowie—assist provided by No. 1 overall draft pick Rose Lavelle—the Breakers beat Sky Blue FC 1-0 in front of a crowd of 2,329 at Jordan Field.

Both goalkeepers produced some big saves, with Boston’s Abby Smith keeping the Breakers in it during the first half, and Sky Blue’s Kailen Sheridan owning the second half to give her side a chance to even things up. Ultimately, Sky Blue wasn’t able to get quality looks at Smith despite the edge in possession.

The Breakers cleaned up their defensive efforts at home, thanks in part to the return of Julie King, allowing Margaret Purce to return to her natural position at forward. While it meant that Boston kept the clean sheet, King didn’t look quite in full-season form with her decision making, frequently turning over the ball in long clearances. Purce, on the other hand, struck the crossbar shortly after coming in as a substitute during the second half—even as Christie Pearce tried to close her down defensively.

Sky Blue never quite managed to unlock the full potential of their front line of Sam Kerr and Kelley O’Hara, along with Leah Galton in the midfield. Between plenty of pressure and physicality from the Breakers, along with Rose Lavelle in midfield, Sky Blue never really seemed to settle into the game. Kelley O’Hara’s second half was a rough one in particular, suffering tackles from Lavelle, then Megan Oyster, and finally a yellow card-worthy one from Angela Salem. She also finished the game playing right back for the visitors, despite finally getting some better touches in midfield.

It’s still too early to make any real calls on the form of either side, but the Breakers will certainly take an early win to their fifth season, especially as they begin a home stand where they hope to build some different momentum.


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