Second-half substitute Jennie Nobis scored in the 76th minute to help the Boston Breakers tie FC Gold Pride, 1-1, in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) action on Wednesday evening at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Mass.
The result doesn’t change much in the standings as both Boston (3-4-3) and the Pride (3-5-3) remain in a three-way tie for fourth with Sky Blue FC, 1-0 winners over the Chicago Red Stars tonight. The three teams have 12 points, one behind the third place Washington Freedom.
“We would have liked to have gotten a win; we saw the worst and the best in this team,” said Breakers head coach Tony DiCicco in pointing out the vast differences in his team between halves. “It’s a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. It was really disappointing in the first half, and then they came out and showed how good they really can be.”
After a slow first half, the Breakers solution to leaving with a point came off the bench, for in the 76th minute, substitute Kelly Smith sent a corner kick to Nobis on the far post, who then headed the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal for the tie. The goal was Nobis’ first of the season, and the assist was Smith’s second.
FC Gold Pride got their goal early on in the 15th minute, as a ball deflected from a defensive tackle right to Christine Sinclair’s feet, about 25 yards out. The Pride’s leading goal scorer fired off a shot right to the bottom right corner of the net for her fifth tally of the year.
The Bay Area team maintained a composed possession throughout the half, giving the Breakers only a few scoring chances, such as in the 33rd minute, when Amy Rodriguez ran onto a through ball to cross to Christine Latham who jumped but just missed the header. Two minutes later, Kasey Moore got onto the end of a free kick but Barnhart was right behind her to make the save. Overall, FC Gold pride enjoyed the better of opportunities, out shooting Boston 7-1.
The second half looked like it would be much of the same as FC Gold Pride came out again with high pressure. Within the first minute Sinclair, looking for another, had a dangerous shot, but Lipsher tipped it to hit off the crossbar.
Then the tables turned and the Breakers dominated play and pressured the FC Gold Pride defense. Boston would out-shoot the Pride, 12-4, in the second half.
With a series of opportunities, it was only a matter of time before they grabbed a goal. Nobis herself had several close calls leading up to her goal, one which was a shot sent just over the crossbar and another where Barnhart beat her in the foot race to the ball.
Following their goal, the Breakers pushed hard for a win. Kristine Lilly hit a shot in the 80th minute that hit the crossbar, and in stoppage time Nobis had another header that this time went into Barnhart’s hands.
The Breakers are back in action in Chicago on Sunday to face the Chicago Red Stars at 4 p.m. It will be the third match of a run of four games in 11 days for Boston.
June 17, 2009
Harvard Stadium – Cambridge, Mass.
GOALS 1 2 – Total
FC Gold Pride 1 0 1
Boston 0 1 1
1 - FCGP: Sinclair 5, 15th minute
1 BOS: Nobis 1, 76th minute
Shots: FCGP 11 BOS 13; Shots on Goal: FCGP 5 BOS 9; Saves: Nicole Barnhart (FCGP) 4, Alli Lipsher (BOS) 8; Corners: FCGP 5 BOS 4; Fouls: FCGP 11 BOS 3.
FC GOLD PRIDE: Nicole Barnhart, Rachel Buchler, Carrie Dew, Leigh Ann Robinson (Marisa Abegg, 84th minute), Rachel Grazyk; Tina DiMartino (Kimberly Yokers, 62nd minute), Formiga, Leslie Osborne; Eriko Arakawa, Tiffeny Milbrett, Christine Sinclair (Tiffany Weimer, 73rd minute)
BOSTON: Alli Lipsher; Alex Scott, Candace Chapman (Kelly Smith 62nd, minute), Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts; Kasey Moore, Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Stacy Bishop (Nancy Augustyniak-goffi, 46th minute); Amy Rodriiguez, Christine Latham (Jennifer Nobis, 46th minute).
Boston – Latham, 13th minute
FC Gold Pride – DiMartino, 34th minute, Formiga, 89th minute
Weather – 68, partly sunny
Officials – R: Margaret Domka; A1: John Schmitz; A2: Michael Rugnetta; FO: Jennifer Powell.
The previous story was excerpted from a press release by the Boston Breakers. Photo Credit Howard Smith.