The jury is out on what was more surprising this season in Women's Professional Soccer.
On one hand, you have magicJack (9-7-2, 28 pts), a franchise that spent the majority of the year justifying its rule breaking, culminating with owner Dan Borislow naming Abby Wambach, the team's striker, as its
Formerly Washington Freedom, magicJack has been a laughing stock off the field, which is curious considering how sound a club they were while named Freedom.
On the field, magicJack struggled mightily at times before clinching third place with a couple weeks remaining on the schedule.
On the other hand, you have the Boston Breakers (5-9-4, 19 pts), a franchise with a coach (Tony DiCicco) whose credentials speak for themselves and a back line that touts four World Cup players in Alex Scott of England; Stephanie Cox, Rachel Buehler and Amy LePeilbet of the United States.
Yet, despite the aforementioned, the Breakers struggled and finished four games below the .500 mark, needing a meltdown by Sky Blue FC to earn a spot in the postseason, much like in 2009 when Boston melted to help Sky Blue get into the postseason.
Both surprising stories will be on center stage Wednesday night on FOX Soccer, when the two sides meet at FAU Soccer Field in Boca Raton, Fla., in the WPS First Round of the playoffs. One of the stories will end, while the other's will advance to the WPS Super Semifinal on Saturday in Philadelphia against the Independence.
With magicJack having cinched up their spot to host the WPS First Round match, they have been overlooked down the stretch, winning four of their last five contests, building up a massive amount of momentum heading into the playoffs, none larger than Wambach, who has tallied five goals in the final five matches.
Meanwhile the Breakers, many will argue, are a playoff team merely because the other two clubs, Sky Blue FC and Atlanta Beat, were not that good. They did, however, win their way in on Sunday.
In the season series, a four-game sample, magicJack has stuck it to Boston, winning three of the four, and all in shutout fashion.
On April 23 in Florida, Ella Masar's unassisted goal in the first half was all magicJack needed for a 1-0 win.
In the July 30 match in Florida, Christen Press may have stamped her Rookie of the Year award with a trio of goals (Wambach had one as well) in a magicJack 4-0 blowout win; and a week later on Aug. 6 in Massachusetts, magicJack prevailed 2-0 on a Wambach brace.
Jillian Loyden got the clean sheets in all three wins. Boston's only win over magicJack was a 2-1 win on June 5 when the U.S. World Cup players were away.
One thing in Boston's favor is rest, or more precisely, the lack of rest for the league's eldest team in magicJack. From July 24 through the end of the regular season, the Breakers have played six games. In comparison, magicJack has played two more games since July 23, and three more games since July 20.
Boston had a little recuperation to end the season, getting a week off prior to its last match - a home game - whereas magicJack has logged a number of frequent flyer miles and been playing a game every three or four days.
With a number of players pushing 30, their legs may falter when they need them most. And that's not to mention that the Breakers back line is world class and liable to enter shutdown mode.
Still, the facts are there: magicJack has won three of four against their playoff opponent and it has home field for the match. Games are won on the field. Tune in for the 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff to see who will advance to take on the Independence this Saturday.