The Long Island Rough Riders open the second half of their 2018 United Women’s Soccer campaign with a vital road match against the Connecticut Fusion on June 16.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. from Farmington Sports Arena in Farmington, Conn.
Long Island comes into the match on the heels of a 2-1 loss to UWS East Conference-leading Rochester Lancers on June 9. The Rough Riders (2-2-1) are currently fourth in the conference at seven points, trailing Rochester (11 points), Connecticut (9 points), and New England Mutiny (8 points).
“After a loss it is very important for us to get a positive result to get back on track towards the goal we set in the beginning of the season,” first-year head coach Karim Diallo said. “The goal is the same as last season — to push to get to the playoffs and UWS National Championship game. We will keep working towards that.”
In an unfortunate trend that has plagued the Rough Riders for most of the season, Long Island again fell behind to an opponent. The Lancers took a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute on a goal by Elin Eklund. The Swede doubled her tally for the game, finding the back of the net six minutes later. Eklund is tied with teammate Brooke Barbuto for the UWS lead in goals with six.
Long Island battled back, getting on the scoresheet in the 74th minute as Kayla Saager pounced on a loose ball following a scramble in the box to make the score 2-1.
“This result was even more difficult to swallow because I told the players in the pregame talk that we’ve made it a bad habit to start games slow and one of these days we might not have it to come back,” Diallo said. “We did push it the second half, but it just wasn’t there for us.”
The Fusion (3-2-0), in their first year in the UWS, come into the contest following a 1-0 loss at Inferno Rush on June 9, which snapped a three-game winning streak.
“We need to get a better and stronger start in the next game against a strong side to give ourselves a chance to get a positive result,” Diallo said.
BY: Michael LoRé