Sunday, July 18, 2010

Breakers on Brink of Playoff Spot

Don't look now, but the once-forlorn Boston Breakers have won three matches in a row and are just one point away from a would-be playoff spot. Plus, they have a game in hand on the teams they're chasing for fourth place. Sounds pretty positive, right?

There's only one small problem. The Breakers play their next match against FC Gold Pride, the runaway leader in the WPS table and far and away the best side in the league thus far this season. That clash will happen Wednesday at 7 pm at Harvard Stadium and will be one of just three more games to take place at Harvard Stadium in the regular season. The Breakers will also play a "home" match in Connecticut in August.

In the meantime, though, the Breakers are on a roll. Boston snagged yet another come-from-behind win today over Washington, a key rival for the final WPS playoff spot. After conceding just two minutes into the match, the Breakers fought back to equalize through the suddenly potent Liz Bogus in the 23rd minute. In the 74th minute, Jordan Angeli, also in form for Boston, settled the matter with a headed goal past Washington goalkeeper Erin McLeod. Both Bogus and Angeli scored for the second consecutive match; Bogus has two goals this season and Angeli three.

It's that kind of balanced scoring that has taken the pressure off of Kelly Smith, Lauren Cheney and Fabiana and has made Boston a team with multiple threats to find the back of the net. After racking up just one goal in May and two in June, the Breakers have exploded for seven tallies in three matches--all wins--in July. Prior to Independence Day, the Breakers had scored just seven goals all season.

Boston's recent run of success has the club one win away from potentially leaping all the way into third place in the WPS table. The Breakers still sit in sixth, one point behind Washington and Chicago and two points behind Sky Blue FC, but they have a game in hand over all of the clubs that currently reside above them in the table. Chicago will travel to last-place Atlanta on Wednesday night, while Gold Pride will come to Boston.

Beating Gold Pride has been a tall order for the rest of WPS this season, due in large part to the amazing Marta's 10 goals in 14 games. With the Breakers on both a scoring streak and a winning streak, Wednesday night's game could turn into a real shootout. For Boston, a win would be critical--and would keep the momentum rolling as the summer stretches on and the playoffs approach.

As always, for more on the Breakers, check out Boston Breakers Report

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