The Boston Breakers’ winless streak was extended to nine games as they were mauled 5-2 in Portland against the Thorns.
15,624 fans packed into Providence Park to witness the highest scoring game of the season, which included two goals from McCall Zerboni and a goal each from Jodie Taylor, Mana Shim, and Allie Long.
Jodie Taylor made her first appearance for Portland since the World Cup and marked it with a goal in the 16th minute.
After some quick, precision passing on the edge of the area, the ball found its way to Taylor’s feet just inside the 18 with her back to goal. After turning and taking a couple of touches, she curved the ball inside the far post, just avoiding the reach of Alyssa Naeher.
The Breakers were level twenty minutes later through a Kat Williamson own goal, the ball deflecting of her leg and over the goalkeeper after some great wing play from Stephanie McCaffrey.
The scoreline was carried into the break, but three goals in the opening nine minutes of the second half would put Portland over the hills and far away.
The first two goals came from McCall Zerboni, who you might remember being sent off back in June for one of the more idiotic red cards seen recently, stepping on Kansas City forward Shea Groom back in June.
Zerboni’s first goal came in the 49th minute after a great ball over the top from Allie Long was settled to perfectly by the midfielder, who then powered home her finish from close range.
Her second came four minutes later after she slotted home the rebound following Naeher’s attempt to parry Christine Sinclair’s cross away from goal.
The goalkeeper was picking the ball out of the net less than a minute later after Mana Shim scored her fourth goal of the season to put the Thorns up by three goals.
The usual suspects were involved again, with Zerboni winning a header that found Long, who played a lofted pass to Sinclair. The Canadian international then put Shim through on goal, where she curled a finish into the far post.
The scoresheet looked fairly odd without Allie Long’s name amongst the scorers, but that all changed in the 66th minute as she scored her team-leading 7th goal of the season.
Naeher was given no chance for this goal either as Long hit the rebound into the side netting after the headed clearance from Tobin Heath’s cross fell to the feet of Long.
Boston would tally a consolation goal three minutes from the end from the penalty spot, but it did nothing to change the outcome of the game.
Samantha Mewis was the one to convert the penalty kick after Emily Menges handled Nkem Ezurike’s shot inside the area.
The loss pretty much eliminates any hopes Boston had of making the playoffs, as they are now eight points adrift of fourth place having played a game more than the rest of the league.
Despite some rough patches this season, the win lifts Portland up to fifth place, just one point behind Houston.
With five games left to play for the majority of the teams and just ten points separating third from eighth place, the run-in for the 2015 season should be very intriguing.