The Long Island Rough Riders women’s team looks to continue its momentum following a successful weekend road trip as it begins a two-game homestand on Wednesday evening against New York Surf. Kickoff is 5 p.m. from Hofstra University Soccer Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.
The Rough Riders collected four points (one win, one draw) from two matches this past weekend. Long Island registered its first United Women’s Soccer win of the 2018 campaign with a 5-2 victory against Western New York Flash on Saturday, and earned a point in a 1-1 draw against Rochester Lancers on Sunday.
“I thought overall our team performance was good,” first-year head coach Karim Diallo said. “We had a very good game on Saturday against the Flash, though the start to the game was poor and we went down early. I give the players a lot of credit because they didn’t panic as we lost to the same team in the first game of the season (3-1 on May 19). They were able to turn it around and put together a very good performance to come out with a victory.”
Erica Hubert put the home side ahead 1-0 in the second minute, but the Rough Riders (1-1-1) responded with two goals in less than a minute in the 29th minute to take a 2-1 lead going into halftime. Kayla Saager’s free kick tied the score at 1-1, and Morgan Santoro’s finish gave the visitors a one-goal advantage.
Long Island extended its lead in the 58th minute on a goal by Francesca Venezia, and made it 4-1 on another goal by Santoro. The Flash responded with a penalty kick to get within 4-2, but the Rough Riders secured all three points on Venezia’s second of the game in the 67th.
The Rough Riders fell behind against the Lancers on Sunday, trailing 1-0 in the 26th minute, but erased that deficit thanks to Laura Gomez’s goal in the 73rd to earn the draw.
“Registering that first win was important and definitely a confidence booster,” Diallo said. “We knew we were poor in the first game of the season and needed to turn it around very quickly, which we did. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t perform on Sunday the same way we did on Saturday, but at least we got points from both games.”
The Surf (1-2-1) are coming off a 1-1 draw with New Jersey Copa FC on June 2. Both clubs sit in the middle of the UWS East Conference standings at four points.
Following Wednesday’s match, the Rough Riders host Rochester on June 9 before hitting the road for another pair of matches.
“We are looking forward to the next two games as we look to redeem ourselves from the first home performance,” Diallo said.
BY: Michael LoRé