Match preview: Rough Riders at NJ Copa
May 2019

The Long Island Rough Riders women’s team continues to search for its rhythm in the early stages of the 2019 United Women’s Soccer season. Long Island continues its three-game road trip with a mid-week visit to New Jersey Copa FC on May 22.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. from St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel, N.J.

The Rough Riders (1-2-0) are coming off a 4-2 loss to New England Mutiny on May 18. The Mutiny jumped out to a 3-0 lead after 31 minutes and secured all three points as Kate Howarth completed her hat trick in the 69th minute for a 4-1 advantage. Grace Hawkins and Gabrielle Clark scored for Long Island in the 36th and 73rd minutes, respectively.

“We talked about starting the game strong as I had a feeling the Mutiny would come out swinging both hands as hard as possible,” head coach Karim Diallo said. “For whatever reasons we decided to let them dictate the pace of the game. By the time we got it somewhat together we were down three goals, which is quite the mountain to climb.”

Long Island doesn’t have much time to reflect on the defeat with an early season rematch against NJ Copa on the horizon. The Rough Riders defeated their local rivals 3-1 on May 15 behind goals from Hawkins, Morgan Santoro and Salma Tarik.

NJ Copa (1-1-0) is coming off a 3-0 victory at Worcester Smiles on May 18. Wednesday’s match is their home opener.

“One of the things I was very excited about this season was the mix of veterans and young players on the team,” Diallo said. “I will try my best to get them ready but I also believe the players care enough to hold themselves and each other accountable, and find a way to be mentally, physically and tactically ready for the next game.

“Getting in a rhythm and keeping it consistent throughout the game is what we will try to do next game. We want to play well from start to end.”

BY: Michael LoRĂ©
Staff Writer