Goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme recorded her third consecutive shutout on Friday night as the Boston Breakers held on for a 0-0 draw at home vs. the Chicago Red Stars in front of of a crowd of 2,435 on a chilly summer night in Boston.
“We held on by the skin of our teeth,” Breakers coach Matt Beard told Jordan Angeli after the game. “The positive from here is we’ve kept another clean sheet. That’s three in a row now. We might’ve been a little fortuitous tonight with that, but we’ll take it.”
With former members of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion United States women’s national team on hand, including Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers, Briana Scurry, Brandi Chastain and Cindy Parlow Cone, the Breakers honored the memory of legendary USWNT coach Tony DiCicco, who passed away last month. From 2009-2011, DiCicco coached the Boston Breakers of Women’s Professional Soccer.
“He just brought so much life to our team, fun, made us a family. Every day we stepped on the field with him as our coach, we had fun. We laughed. He worked us hard but it was always because he wanted the best for us,” Hamm told Angeli at halftime.
— NWSL (@NWSL) July 8, 2017
The Red Stars thought they had taken the lead in the 72nd minute after a Danielle Colaprico midfield header fell to Christen Press in behind the Breakers defense. The forward dribbled into the penalty area and slotted it past Prudhomme for what would’ve been her sixth goal of the season, but a late offside call came in and disallowed the goal.
The Red Stars had another big opportunity to take the lead just three minutes later as Prudhomme came off her line to punch away a cross into the box from Press. Prudhomme’s clearance fell straight to Taylor Comeau, who chipped it over the goalkeeper only to see her shot cleared off the line by Breakers midfielder Rosie White.
Prudhomme made eight stops, including two late saves — one in the 88th minute vs. Press and another in the 91st minute on a Sofia Huerta shot — to help the Breakers hang on for the draw. She extended her shutout streak to 316 minutes, now the longest streak in Boston’s NWSL history.
— NWSL (@NWSL) July 8, 2017
The rookie goalkeeper has started the last four games in place of Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith, who has been suffering from right quad tendinitis. Smith was removed from the injury report on Thursday, but Prudhomme earned the start on Friday night.
“She was excellent tonight,” Beard said. “She’s done great in Abby’s absence. Definitely gives me food for thought with regards to them two. Obviously there’s great competition now.”
On the other end of the field, Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher earned her fifth shutout of the season, though she was not called upon for a save as Boston was unable to record a shot on goal in the match. Boston’s best effort came in the 58th minute, but White’s long distance shot went just over the crossbar.
Breakers captain and defender Julie King recorded her 100th appearance for the Boston Breakers (including her time with the Breakers in the WPSL Elite in 2012 as well as the NWSL since 2013).
“She loves this club. She loves this city. She’s a great leader,” Beard said of the Breakers captain.
Breakers defender Allysha Chapman earned her fifth yellow card of the season in the 80th minute, which means she will be suspended for the Breakers’ next match due to yellow card accumulation. White, who was suspended due to yellow card accumulation earlier this season, earned her sixth card of the year in the 89th minute. White will be suspended again if she earns two more yellow cards this season.
The Red Stars moved to 7-3-3 (24 points) with the draw, and into a tie for first place with the North Carolina Courage, who play their Week 12 match on Saturday. The Breakers are 3-6-4 with 13 points.