It was a game that neither the Boston Breakers (2-3-1) nor the Sky Blue FC (1-3-3) deserved to lose. Then again, neither side could find the second goal that would have given the victory and three points in the standings.
And so it was a 1-1 draw between the two teams in the National Women’s Soccer League match on Friday.
Both teams had their opportunities to win but this one left a sour taste in the mouth of the Sky Blue FC.
"It’s a disappointing result," said Jim Gabarra, the Sky Blue FC coach. "Over our last two games, we have squandered an awful lot of goal-scoring chances. We really should have left these past two games with six points. One point is just not good enough."
Katy Freels scored her team-leading third goal in the eighth minute for Sky Blue and Stephanie McCaffrey brought Boston level in the 60th minute. Both teams opened up play after that and had chances to take the lead but couldn’t find that next goal.
The tie kept Sky Blue winless in its last six games. Boston was looking to win its second straight game.
The Sky Blue came out showing no fallout from last week’s stoppage loss to Washington. They took to the offense right away. Sky Blue came off quickly with an organized defense and got Nadia Nadim involved early.
In the 8th minute, Nadim stole an errant Boston pass just past midfield and found attacking midfielder Katy Freel running down the middle. Freels took a couple of touches and let go from distance with her left foot, hitting the back of the net, giving Sky Blue FC their first lead since the second game of the season.
Nadim got loose twice, gathering in two loose balls and using her speed and quickness to create opportunities.
In the 17th minute, she won a ball and found room on the right and blasted a ball just wide to the right of the post. Three minutes later, Nadim got loose for a goal but was called for a foul and the strike was disallowed.
Brazilian forward Rafinha had the best opportunity for Boston in the first 45, using one move to get inside the box and hit a bullet that was right to Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Brittany Cameron.
Boston came out stronger in the second half and immediately put pressure on Sky Blue FC. Rafinha rifled a shot over the top in the 47th minute before Kristie Mewis, the heroine in last week’s stoppage time victory over Portland, wheeled in on Cameron alone. Only a great diving stop by Cameron prevented the goal.
The Breakers’ Morgan Marlborough added another shot seconds later, again deflected by Cameron for a corner kick. Cameron cleared the corner kick but Princeton grad Lauren Lazo served it back to the far post. Cameron again got her hand on the shot but punched it to McCaffrey at the left corner of the penalty area. McCaffrey left-footed a one-time shot into the far post to put Boston level.
Both team had more chances as play became wide open. In the 70th minute, Mewis become more dangerous and sent in a long free kick that bounced into the goal mouth. Cameron did well to come out and snag the shot.
In the 74th minute, midfielder Taylor Lytle picked up speed through defense and slid a pass to Nadim to the left side of the box. Nadim had space but hit her shot wide.
Reserve Meg Morris came on in the 78th minute and immediately made an impact. Nadim split a pair of defenders and laid a ball to Morris. She cruised in down the right side and unleashed a blast from 20 yards that banged off the crossbar and came straight down, somehow not crossing the goal line.
The ball was cleared out of danger and that was the last time either team would come close to breaking the deadlock.
Here and there: First-round draft pick Sarah Killion sat out the second straight game with a leg injury…Maya Hayes started her second straight game at right back and looks settled in at the spot…Morris came on late in the match nursing an injury but looked very capable in her run on goal. Sky Blue FC return to Rutgers University next Saturday for a 3 p.m. match with the Houston Dash. The two teams drew, 1-1, in the second week of league play in Piscataway.