The Long Island Rough Riders women’s team won their final three games of the season, but fell just shy of qualifying for the 2018 UWS playoffs. Long Island went 5-3-2 (17 points), finishing tied for third in the Eastern Conference.
Here are the five nominees for the Rough Riders 2018 UWS Player of the Year.
A box-to-box midfielder, Marra set the tempo for the team. The captain proved to be influential in leading the side as well as playing in the middle of the field all season.
“A true captain,” first-year head coach Karim Diallo said. “When I needed her to fill in as a center back she didn’t miss a beat.”
Schneider’s name won’t appear in the stat sheet often, but she does a yeoman’s job in the middle of the field for the Rough Riders. The box-to-box midfielder wins a lot of possession, which the team turns into offense.
“The kind of player any coach would dream of having on their team,” Diallo said. “When we needed to move the ball out of the back she is always available as an outlet to link our defenders with the forwards.”
The center back rarely missed a tackle this season. Baner utilized her great feet to help the Rough Riders calmly and productively play the ball out of the back line.
“Allyson has a great sense of placement and was a leader for our backs, whether we played with a back three or back four,” Diallo said.
The goalkeeper was a commanding presence between the pipes and in the box all season. Daugherty, who made 41 saves, had a season-high nine saves against Rochester Lancers on June 3 and repeated the feat at Connecticut Fusion on June 16.
“Kelsey had great distribution; she is able to make a 30-40 yard pass in the air with accuracy,” Diallo said. “That’s one of the reasons we never panicked in the back when we got pressured. We knew she was the extra field player for us.”
The versatile player spent time as a midfielder and forward this season. Santoro scored four goals in a 9-1 win against Worcester Smiles on July 7.
“Morgan is one of the most talented players we have on the team,” Diallo said. “Morgan can run all day so whenever we needed her to drop deeper and help defensively, she did.”
BY: Michael LoRé