The Long Island Rough Riders women’s team had an issue falling behind in matches in 2018. The team quickly erased that trend to begin the 2019 season, jumping out to a lead early in the season opener against Connecticut Fusion on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the Rough Riders were unable to sustain that for the remainder of the game and surrendered two goals in a 2-1 defeat. Long Island has little time to adjust as it hosts New Jersey Copa FC on Wednesday, May 15.
Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. from Hofstra University Soccer Stadium.
“I thought we were very eager, came out of the gate flying and overdid it,” head coach Karim Diallo said. “Our emotions got the better of us and we never really got into a rhythm.”
The Rough Riders (0-1-0) set the tone early against Connecticut, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by captain Kim Marra in the 12th minute. Long Island maintained that advantage at the halftime interval, but gave up a pair of scores in the second half in the defeat.
“We just need to work more on the mental side of the game,” Diallo said. “We need to be aggressive but at the same time need to make sure we stay calm through the game. We need to establish and dictate the pace of the game.”
New Jersey Copa FC is opening its 2019 campaign on Wednesday evening. The team went 3-6-1 in 2018.
The Rough Riders embark on a three-game road trip following the contest, so obtaining a result will be key for momentum on their travels.
“Early negative results were our problem last year,” Diallo said. “We talked about it in the offseason. We have to make sure we walk the walk as well. I have to do a better job getting the players mentally ready for the challenge but I believe we have a good balance of young and veteran players and they will figure it out.”
BY: Michael LoRé