The Long Island Rough Riders visit UWS East Conference regular-season champions Inferno Rush to conclude their 2018 regular season. Should Long Island win and get a little help, the Rough Riders would qualify for the East Conference Championship Game for a second consecutive season.
Kickoff is 3 p.m. from Manheim Township High School in Lancaster, Pa.
The Rough Riders are one of five teams fighting for a berth in the conference championship game against the Rush. Western NY Flash (5-4-0; 15 points), Long Island (4-3-2; 14 points), New England Mutiny (4-3-2; 14 points), Rochester Lancers (4-3-2; 14 points), and Connecticut Fusion (4-3-1; 13 points) all have an opportunity to advance to the playoff match on July 17.
“We just keep working knowing we are better than we’ve shown,” first-year head coach Karim Diallo said. “Obviously we will need to get help in the other games, but we have to do our part and take care of what we need to take care of. If we don’t win we have no chance, so getting three points is a must.”
Long Island comes into the match on the heels of a 9-1 win against Worcester Smiles on July 7. Morgan Santoro scored four goals, while Kayla Saager added a brace in the rout.
“I thought we played well for the most part,” Diallo said. “I was a little nervous about complacency because it was the last-place team, but after a bit of a tough time to adjust in the first half, we played really well in the second and just cruised through to the end of the game. We felt good about ourselves and our ability to score goals.”
Inferno Rush (7-2-0; 21 points) is coming off a 4-2 win against Western NY Flash on July 8. The Rush boast the conference’s top defense, having conceded just nine goals all season. The Rough Riders now possess the best attack with 26 goals for.
“We just have to keep doing what we have been doing,” Diallo said. “We’ve created lot of good chances, but we have to make sure we put the ball in the back of the net. I don’t think we’ve struggled creating so I feel good about that part. If we finish, we should be fine.”
BY: Michael LoRé