July 21, 2012
WINNER TAKE ALL
Breakers could capture regular season crown
It all comes down to Sunday afternoon, the WPSL Elite regular season finale in Rochester, N.Y. A Breakers win over the Western New York Flash will give Boston sole possession of first place and the WPSL Elite regular season title. Sunday's game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. ET start.
"Weíre looking forward to the game. We know itís going to be a battle," Boston Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. "We know theyíll play us hard, and I think it will bring out a higher level in us. And I think itíll be a good lead-in for the playoffs."
The Breakers, Flash, Chicago Red Stars, and New York Fury have all qualified for the WPSL Elite playoffs, which take place Wednesday, July 25, at Sahlenís Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. The first and fourth-place finishers and second and third place teams face each other, and the winners advance to the WPSL Elite Championship, which will be held Saturday, July 28, at 1 p.m. ET at Sahlenís Stadium.
The Breakers enter Sundayís match fresh off a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Fever. Katie Schopefer and Courtney Jones scored in last Saturdayís victory in front of a sold-out and season-high crowd of 2,541 at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Mass. The Breakersí final game at Dilboy this season was their seventh sellout in seven games at home.
One of the biggest crowds this season at Dilboy Stadium saw the Breakers take on the Flash on May 26, and the 2,342 in attendance witnessed quite a match as Schoepfer scored a hat trick, while keeper Alice Binns played one of her best games of the season, stopping seven shots, several from inside the box. The Breakers took a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute on an unassisted goal by Schoepfer. The Flash tied the game just after halftime before Boston scored twice in the next 18 minutes. The Flash scored their second and final goal of the match in the 82nd minute.
The 3-2 win, however, was wiped clean by WPSL Elite as the Breakers were forced to forfeit the match and lose the three points for a rules infraction. Those three points were given to the Flash, and the game was recorded as a 1-0 Western New York victory.
Both the Flash and Breakers come into Sundayís match with 30 points. The winner takes the regular season WPSL Elite title. From there on down to fourth place, any team can finish second, third, or fourth. Itís down to the Breakers, Flash, New York Fury (third place, 28 points), and Chicago Red Stars (fourth place, 27 points). The Fury host the Red Stars Sunday at 7 p.m. ET at Hofstra University in Long Island, N.Y.
If the Breakers and Flash draw, and the Fury beat the Red Stars, it comes down to goal differential as the Fury, Flash, and Breakers will all be tied for first with 31 points. The Fury will only be in contention for first place with a win. The Red Stars cannot win the league, but can finish as high as second place.