You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Flash’ tag.

The Breakers season has been much like a promising boxers career; training hard to be in the best condition, receiving the spotlight as a top professional team, and delivering on those high expectations even through adversity.

In this important bout, the Breakers would deliver a PO (Pink Out) to their opponent the Philadelphia Fever.

The stage: Dilboy Stadium in Somerville set the stage for a fun and exciting game. The Breakers were wearing pink kits in support of Project Pink, a Puma charity campaign that raises awareness and funds to aid in the fight against breast cancer. The pink jerseys worn by the players were auctioned during the game and raised over $2,800 which will go to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The game marked their 2012 season home finale with yet another sold-out crowd in attendance to cheer them to victory.

The weigh-in: The Breakers were the overwhelming favorites to win the game. Coming into the match, the Breakers were tied for 1st in the league standings and the Fever were tied for last. But given their recent tough loss against the New England Mutiny, would they be able to bounce back?

The fight: Like any top fighter with a bad taste in their mouth from the last bout, the Breakers came out fast and furious. The Breakers midfielder Bianca D’Agostino opened-up the onslaught of offensive blows with a shot in the 4th minute that rattled the goal. From that point on, the Breakers were going for the PO on each and every shot. Fever goal keeper Michelle Dalton would fend off stellar shots from Cat Whitehill, Katie Schoepfer, Jessica Luscinski and Melissa Henderson before conceding to Schoepfer on a penalty kick in the 13th minute. D’Agostino, who turned in her best performance of the season, kept the pressure on Dalton with great shot selection, power, and accuracy. Dalton gave in once more to the offensive blitz when Courtney Jones netted her second goal of the season off a pass from Breakers captain Leslie Osborne.

As any top fighter will tell you, you need a great defense to go with your offense. The Breakers keeping and defense recorded their sixth shutout of the season. The Breakers back line of Whitehill, Taryn Hemmings, Elli Reed, and Julie King held their ground, limiting the work for goal keeper Alejandra Velasco.  Velasco only had to save one shot to get her first shutout of the season.  The Breakers out shot the Fever 23 – 1 on the game and put almost half of those on goal.

The Fever’s strategy was to pack-in the defense and limit the damage of the Breakers blows. They were successful in holding the Breakers high-octane offense to 2 goals and goal to shot percentage of just under 10% at 9%. The strategy, while effective on the defensive end, saw the offense struggle. They only tested the Breakers once which Velasco saved.

The Breakers play their final game of the 2012 campaign away vs. the Western New York Flash on Sunday, July 22nd at 4pm ET at Sahlen Stadium. The game will determine playoff seeding as the Breakers and Flash are tied for 1st with 30 points and the Chicago Red Stars are in 2nd with 27 points and two games to play.

Advertisements

Just one game from their roller-coaster match against the Western New York Flash, the Breakers got back to normal by dominating FC Indiana. The high-octane offense put away 4 goals, matching their season high which incidentally came against the same FC Indiana team. Not to be outdone, the Breakers defense also put in a solid performance. Lead by goal keeper Alice Binns, they recorded another shutout for the season.

The Breakers topped FC Indiana by a final score of 4 – 0, keeping their pursuit of a perfect season alive. They maintain their position atop the league standings with a 6 point lead over the New York Fury. Scoring for the game opened with a goal in the 30th minute by Bianca D’Agostino assisted by team captain Leslie Osborne. This was D’Agostino’s first goal as Breaker. The next two goals came from WPSL league leading goal scorer Katie Schoepfer, the first in the 34th minute assisted by defender Julie King and the second assisted by former UNC Tar Heel standout Courtney Jones. The final tally for the game came in the 78th minute, unassisted off the foot of Australian international Kyah Simon. This gives Simon three goals for the season.

For more information on the game click here. The Breakers (5 – 0) next face the Chicago Red Stars Sunday, June 3rd in Chicago at 5pm ET.

After five games played this season, FC Indiana are still in search of their first win. Their closest chances thus far have been against the Red Stars, when the margin of victory was two goals in each game. FC Indiana’s next chance for a win is at home against the ASA Chesapeake Charge on Friday, June 8th at 7pm ET.

Earlier games: On Thursday, May 31st the New York Fury got back to their winning ways beating the Philadelphia Fever in front of the home crowd by a score of 3 – 0. With a record of 3 – 1, the Fury  sit in WPSL Elite standings at second place with nine points. This puts them six points behind the first place Boston Breakers. The Fever (0 – 2 -1) weren’t able to get the road win and their first win on the season.

WPSL Weekend Games: On Saturday, June 2nd the New England Mutiny (1 -1 -1) host the Fever in East Longmeadow, MA at 7pm ET. The Mutiny add to their roster Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year Morgan Andrews as they attempt to get their second win of the season. The Mutiny will be playing their first game with interim head coach Chris Legates. Boston College star and recent US National Team training camp member Kristen Mewis’s availability for the game is uncertain. The last time these two teams met, they played to a draw. The Fever hope to better their effort this game and get their first win of the season.

There are two games on Sunday, June 3rd. The first game scheduled for a 5pm ET start features a match between the remaining two undefeated teams in the league, the Boston Breakers visiting the Chicago Red Stars. The night-cap at 7pm ET will have the Flash visiting the Fury in a battle for New York supremacy. At the moment, the Flash have the edge with a win in their first meeting, the Fury hope to even the score.

If you’ve been keeping track of the Boston Breakers this seasons, you may have been hard pressed to find similarities between last night’s game against Wester New York Flash and their wins to date. Although the outcome would end the same with a win, the road taken, the roster of players used, and the fashion to get there was much different.

“I think it’s a sign of a good team that we’ve won in many different ways.” Katie Schoepfer said “We’ve had blowouts, we’ve had teams that were a lot more physical, we’ve had teams that were a lot more organized.”

Control of the game swung back and forth as each team would have opportunities to take over. The Breakers took the lead with the only score in the first half from Schoepfer in the 33rd minute. The Flash would strike next in the first five minutes of the second half with a goal by Angela Salem in the 49th minute. The Breakers would bounce back with Schoepfer’s PK make in the 54th minute. Schoepfer would get the hat trick in the 67th minute when she got her toe on a ball that came loose off Kyah Simon’s possession in the box. The Flash returned the favor by netting their second in the 82nd minute, the score came from Flash forward Adriana. The score of the game would stay at 3 – 2 as the Breakers held on for the win.

The Breakers missed the play of Aussie Tameka Butts in the midfield, but were able to compensate for it with the return of two U.S. Women’s National Team U-23 players Bianca D’Agostino and  Amanda DaCosta. Those weren’t the only roster changes as Elli Reed rejoined the team from the U-23 camp as well and Melissa Henderson joined the team on Thursday driving from the University of Notre Dame.

Other WPSL action this weekend: ASA Chesapeake Charge get their first win of the season beating the Philadelphia Fever by the score of 3 – 2.

Next week in WPSL: The games for the week start on Thursday, May 31st with the Fever visiting the Fury. The Fury hope to bounce back from their first loss of the season. The Fever are still looking for their first win of the season. On Friday, June 1st the Breakers look to continue their winning streak against last place FC Indiana. This is the first of two road games this week for the Breakers. The Saturday, June 2nd game will feature the Fever against the Mutiny. The Mutiny hope to keep their two game unbeaten streak alive versus the Fever in front of their home crowd. Sunday, June 3rd is a double feature: In the early game the Breakers travel to the windy city to take on the 2nd place Red Stars and in the second game the supremacy of the State of New York will be decided as the Flash meet the Fury.

This week’s WPSL action kicked off on Wednesday, May 23rd pitting the Boston Breakers against the New York Fury. They  would battle for the top spot in the standings as they came into the game tied for 1st place.

The Breakers would strike first with a goal in the 10th minute, Tameka Butt would tally her second score of the season assisted by Courtney Jones. Butt is tied for second on the team in goals with Australian teammate Kyah Simon at two. Jones is tied for first on the team in assists with Simon at two. The eventual game winner by Katie Schoepfer came in the 19th minute off an assist from Simon. Schoepfer leads the team with threes goals, scoring in each game played.

The Breakers continue to score at a blistering rate to start their games, leaving the eventual outcome pretty much decided by half time. In all their games this season, the Breakers have scored 89% (8 of 9) of their goals in the first half. When the offense is stalled, the defense and goal keeping keep the game deceidedly in the Breakers favor with the league’s second best  GAA of 0.67.

In the second half, The Fury would show why they are a top team in the league by making the game interesting. Merritt Mathias would net her fourth goal of the season in the 66th minute to put the Fury on the scoreboard. Mathias leads the Fury in goals and is atop the league in goals and points.

The Breakers would get the road win and add to their league best record of 3 – 0.

Other WPSL action this week: On Friday, May 25th the Chicago Red Stars visited FC Indiana and got their second win on the season. The Red Stars record of 2 – 0 is good enough for second best in the league. Both wins have come at the expense of FC Indiana. The Breakers host former WPS rival Western New York Flash on Saturday, May 26th at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, MA at 6pm ET. ASA Chesapeake Charge and the Philadelphia Fever look for their first wins of the season as they face off in the last game of the weekend on Sunday, May 27th. The Fury next play on Thursday, May 31st at home against the Fever.

The wait is over! Women’s soccer is back in action.

WPSL Elite and USL W-League opened their seasons this weekend. Fans now have two leagues to follow, and I say the more the merrier.  Six of the eight teams took to the field for the WPSL and five matches were slotted for the USL W-League opening weekends. Did I mention that there was also a bonus game– an inter-league exhibition Boston Breakers vs. DC United Women? With all these games this weekend, chances are that you already have “your” team in one of the two leagues and followed their play.

Tonight’s chat will look to get your thoughts on the opening weekend for both leagues.

Q1: WPSL Opening Weekend

  • The average goal differential for the winners on the weekend was a + 3.33. Is there a disparity between the teams? Why or why not?
  • The winners all have links to WPS. Is the line of disparity drawn by former WPS team and former WPSL team? What is the reason?
  • The opening weekend was historic with the first goal, first assist, first win, first shutout, and first hat trick. What was your favorite?

Q2: USL W-League Opening Weekend

  • The live streaming of the Pali Blues game was a big hit on twitter. Does this help expand the reach of the league and the teams to their fans? In what ways?
  • If some teams in the league have live feeds of their games and others don’t. How does this benefit/impair the league and the teams?
  • The opening weekend featured nine of the thirty teams, a teaser of what is to come once the league is in full swing. Are you looking forward to next weekend’s games where each day is action packed?

Q3: Bonus Game – Boston Breakers vs. DC United Women

  • Building bridges: would you like to see more inter-league play?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

The future of women’s soccer in the United States of America was volatile when WPS made the decision to suspend the 2012 season due in part to resolving legal disputes. This period was short-lived as two established leagues positioned themselves to fill that gap. The WPSL has filled the demand by pushing up the date to create their Elite league by a year, bring in former WPS clubs the Red Stars, the Breakers, and the Flash, and having the teams sign talented players from the WPS. The USL W-League already had a pro league but are now able to increase the talent pool by signing former WPS players. Both leagues will start play in the week of May 7th. But does this mean the future of women’s soccer is safe?

The chat will look to explore the future all be it without a time machine and answer what does the future of US women’s soccer look like at the professional level, college level, and youth level.

Q1: US Women’s Professional Soccer

  • Is there enough demand to support two leagues, possibly three (return of WPS)? Why or why not?
  • Could or should there be inter-league play?
  • What impact does this split have on the structure of professional soccer and feeding system for the national team?
  • What complications does this create for players?

Q2: College Level Women’s Soccer

  • What impact does having or not having a professional league have on the college game?
  • What new decisions are players now confronted with when deciding their future after school?
  • What impact would be felt by athletic programs at universities?

Q3: Youth Level Women’s Soccer

  • What impact does having or not having a professional league or role models have on the interest of youth toward the game?
  • Does this change the landscape of the youth women’s game? Why?
  • What is the trickle down impact that could be felt by youth organizations?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

After only two short weeks from the deflating news that WPS was suspending the 2012 season, we have been offered hope. This week WPSL announced the creation of an elite league which would include WPS teams. As describe in And They Play On, the Boston Breakers and the Western New York Flash have joined in. They will be joined by the Chicago Red Stars and FC Indiana. This keeps professional level women’s soccer play and players in the U.S. for 2012.

The chat will look to explore what this means for WPS, the players, and the game of women’s professional soccer in the U.S.

Q1: Women’s Professional Soccer

  • What does this do for WPS?
  • In what way may WPS benefit from this?
  • What impact does this have on the future of WPS?
  • What complications could come about from this decision?

Q2: The Players

  • What benefits do players get from this decision?
  • What decisions are players now confronted with?
  • What are the future considerations for the players?

Q3: The U.S. Women’s Professional Game

  • How is this a win for the women’s game?
  • Does this change the landscape of the women’s game? Why?
  • What does this mean for the future of U.S. soccer?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

“Elite”. One word, that is all you need to describe WPS, the players in the league, the coaches, and now the WPSL (Women’s Premier Soccer League). After WPS suspended the 2012 season, its teams, players, and coaches were left with two options; await the 2013 season to start playing or find a way to get on the field this year. Enter the WPSL. They are creating an Elite league which will include WPS teams the Boston Breakers and the Western New York Flash, former WPS team Chicago Red Stars, and FC Indiana.

One of the fears that came out of WPS suspending the 2012 season and the recent memory of the failed WUSA was what will happen to women’s professional soccer in the U.S. now. “The WPSL recognizes the importance of a professional women’s soccer league in America,” WPSL Commissioner Jerry Zanelli said. “And that it is critical to provide a showcase for these top women players, and to inspire young athletes. We have put together a plan that will allow WPS teams individually to join the WPSL in the Elite League. Officially, they will not be professional teams, but would allow our top professional players to play in a highly competitive league.” WPSL has always looked to support and improve women’s soccer in the US and this is just another part of that initiative. “We have said all along that we will do anything to help improve women’s soccer in U.S.” said Zanelli. “This is a step in keeping that process going.” Breakers coach Lisa Cole saw this as a necessity when at a youth camp, “This is why this has to happen,” she said. “These girls have to have these players in their lives. The excitement that they bring from talking to the professional player is so important. The influence that these players have on others’ lives is tremendous.”

This is another endorsement of the women’s game along with the flood of tweets from players and fans. Boston Breakers Associate General Manager Lee Billiard has seen this first hand. “After the suspension of WPS was announced, we received overwhelming support from our fan base and sponsors,” he said. “Internally, it was clear for us to keep the Boston Breakers in the community and to provide an avenue for players to train and play at a competitive level. We are delighted with the outcome and happy to announce the Boston Breakers will be playing again in 2012 and stepping up our community outreach programs.” Leslie Osborne ,frequent tweeter, was moved by the support when she tweeted “It’s very important (to) keep this franchise around, (We) have (the) best fans.”

With the suspension of the season, one big question on everyone’s minds is what is next for WPS players? This concern is well expressed by  Lisa Cole. “The first week was really, really hard; the conversations I had with each and every player on the team were hard,” Cole said. “Some players were extremely disappointed, some were mad, some players were in disbelief. You’re so close to a dream and it just doesn’t happen.” She went on to say “I love how they’ve responded now. Our team especially has been upbeat and positive in social media… They’ll be playing to keep their dream alive.”

But what does it all mean for the future of WPSL elite league and WPS? Jerry Zanelli, WPSL commissioner,  had this to say. “Our main purpose was to find ways to continue to have the highest possible level of soccer for women in the United States,” Zanelli continued, “and to help prepare for the return of professional women’s soccer in 2013. We also wanted to make it financially viable for present WPSL teams to join the Elite League and raise their level of play.” The elite league will look to expand in 2013 to the west coast. Interest has come from San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Bay Area, and Seattle.

What do you think about partnership between WPS and WPSL? Is this a good way to keep interest in women’s professional soccer? Or does this water down the progress WPS had made?

My second day at the NSCAA convention was all about the player. The first event I attended focused on the differences in coaching female versus male athletes. Then I learned about a new product by Korrio that supports player safety. But the highlight of the day was seeing players have their dreams fulfilled by being drafted into the WPS. Here is my recap of Day 2 at the NSCAA Convention.

I started the day at a lecture about effectively coaching female athletes presented by Vanessa Martinez-Lagunas, a FIFA women’s soccer instructor. This session really broke down the differences from a scientific basis and first hand experience . Vanessa was diligent in providing concrete information as well as practical ways for coaches to handle and coach to the differences in female players. I was impressed with the presentation and delivery. Anyone attending that session should feel confident about coaching female players.

I took a break from the lecture schedule to meet with Steve Goldman, the CEO of Korrio. They are adding to a new tool to their existing youth sports platform that helps manage player safety. The Computerized Cognitive Assessment Tool (CCAT) by Axon Sports will allow families and sports clubs, teams, and leagues a convenient way to manage concussions in young athletes. The platform allows leagues, teams, and clubs to require a baseline test during registration. This test sets a standard for each individual player, keeping track of their behavior before a concussion or head injury. In an instance where this test hasn’t been done, it is near to impossible to determine that child’s state of mind prior to them getting the concussion. Prior to CCAT, a parent would need to schedule an appointment with their child’s doctor to get a baseline test done– imagine fitting that into your already busy schedule. With concussions on the rise (1 and 10 athletes will experience concussions this year ) Korrio is taking a lead in helping leagues, teams, clubs, and parents conveniently manage player health and safety.

The day ended with a bang– the WPS draft. It was touch and go for a moment (the internet crashed), but that turned out to be a tiny blimp on the radar. The room was brimming with energy and excitement  as players and teams started to fall into place. WPS CEO Jennifer O’Sullivan lead the way and I believe this signifies a lot of what is to come; with the challenges she and the league have faced thus far, they’ll need to maintain that positive outlook to keep prevailing. Speaking from the live event side, this year’s draft was a step up in the right direction from last year. The commentary and interviews with players and coaches in between breaks were interesting and insightful.

Tomorrow is the my last day of the convention and though I don’t want it to end, I’ll make sure to enjoy every minute!

The NSCAA convention is like a gathering of the collective coaching mind. As a soccer enthusiast, it is comforting to know that the future of the game is in such good hands with an organization like the NSCAA leading the way.  I’ll be posting my thoughts about the convention every day, and tweeting out live too. If one thing has become clear after my first day here, it is that coaches at all levels are putting the best interests of their players first. Here are some the highlights from Day 1 of this exciting convention.

The first event of the day delivered everything that I could have hoped for from this convention– a lecture on the importance of the development of mental coaching. The panel consisted of four college coaches and a doctor of Nuero-science. The two coaches from the men’s side were D. Masur from St. John’s and J. Martin  from Ohio Wesleyan, and the two coaches from the women’s side were A. Dorrance from North Carolina and J. Rayfield from Illinois. The coaches discussed their views and methods on training and developing players mentally while Dr. R. Tarer backed their methods with scientific fact. The room was packed—there was standing room only. It was great to see everyone taking this seriously and learning from these experts. This can only make one feel comfort that these coaches have but one interest – developing people.

The next event, though not as focused on the mind, also pointed out that the coaches here are forever learning. This event was a lecture on scouting for the U.S. Women’s National Team for the 2011 World Cup. Marcia McDermott, Assistant Head Coach for the USWNT, and Janet Rayfield, Head Coach of Illinois, lead this lecture. Janet was a scout for the USWNT during the World Cup and shared her experience. I was impressed by the care that she and the other scouts took in their task – it was interesting to see how this then translated to the pitch. You can see this reflected in the success of the team on the field. Every member of USWNT saw the larger picture.

This next event was the low for the day. The lecture topic was propelling the women’s game forward with a panel including Jennifer O’Sullivan ( CEO of WPS), Jim Gabarra (Head Coach of Sky Blue FC) and Leslie Osborne from the Boston Breakers. Why was this a low point? Because the event was cancelled . A shame, because I think it would have been a terrific learning environment for everyone here. You can’t tell me this didn’t have great potential.

I wrapped up the day with an award reception for college coaches. I won’t bore you with the details– we all know how award ceremonies go. The best highlight was the focus on the ethics of the game and awards given for outstanding performance. It was a great way to close out the day.

At the end of Day 1, I’m energized. The NSCAA has issued coaches, players, and soccer fans a challenge to live up to some high standards—to develop not just great players but great people. By sharing their knowledge and dedication, we’re all in a better position to meet this challenge. I’m on board. Are you?

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 14 other followers

Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.