Breakers and Spirit tie 2-2 after a dramatic finish
Both teams nearly won the game in the final moments
Boston Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith made nine saves vs. the Washington Spirit in Week 16. (Photo credit: Jose Argueta/
Boston Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith made nine saves vs. the Washington Spirit in Week 16. (Photo credit: Jose Argueta/

Abby Smith made nine saves in a wild affair between the Boston Breakers and the Washington Spirit as the two sides dueled to a 2-2 draw in front of 3,722 fans at the Maureen Hendricks Field at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Maryland. Breakers forward Adriana Leon equalized twice for Boston in the game.


Both teams had a chance to win it in the final moments of stoppage time but neither could pull off the dramatic victory. For the Spirit, Mallory Pugh’s free kick to the head of Estelle Johnson hit off the crossbar and then on the ensuing counter attack for the Breakers, Rosie White was open in the box but pushed her right-footed shot just wide.


Smith made big saves throughout the match to keep the Breakers in the game. Her best effort came in the 90th minute to preserve the draw after a rising shot from Spirit midfielder Tori Huster looked destined for the upper corner.



The crossbar was no friend to the Spirit on the day even before the final plays of the game as Pugh hit the crossbar twice in the match. The first came on a free kick in the second minute of first half stoppage time and the second in the 83rd minute after a getting in behind the Breakers defense.



Johnson opened the scoring in the sixth minute to give the Spirit the 1-0 lead, cleaning up a rebound after her first shot was saved by Smith. It was her second goal of the season.


Leon tied things up in the 44th minute with her fourth goal of the season, cleaning up a loose ball in the box after Katie Stengel’s shot was blocked by the Spirit defense. Leon tapped it past Spirit goalkeeper DiDi Haracic (starting as Stephanie Labbé was given the afternoon off) to tie things at 1.


The Spirit made it 2-1 in the 64th minute, on a goal from Cheyna Williams. Midfielder Estefanía Banini tried to bend a ball over Smith and into the net. Smith got a hand to it, but couldn’t quite push it out of danger and Williams headed in the rebound for her third goal of the season.


Leon equalized again for the Breakers in the 79th minute, staying onside and sneaking in behind the Spirit defensive line to get on the end of a cross from Ifeoma Onumonu, who had entered the match just nine minutes earlier. Leon took one touch to settle the ball and calmly slotted it past Haracic to even things up 2-2, for her fifth goal of the season. The assist is the first of the rookie Onumonu’s NWSL career.

Late in stoppage time, Huster and Breakers midfielder Angela Salem went down after a head-to-head collision. Salem was issued a yellow card for coming in late on the play. After a few minutes, both players were able to walk off the field.


With the draw, both teams remain tied on points (16) near the bottom of the NWSL table. The Breakers will next host the Houston Dash on Wednesday night while the Spirit will need to visit the first-place North Carolina Courage on Saturday in the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime.


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