Torrential rain dampened the performance of both teams Saturday night as the Rough Riders settled for a 2-2 draw at St. Anthony’s High School. As the skies finally opened up in the second half, the pace of the game quickened but neither team could find the winner in the second week of PDL action.
Western Mass opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with a goal by forward Chris Rosswes. Midfielder Freddy Metellus provided a lethal cross to Rosswes who headed back across goal to open the score. The header came after a period of sustained pressure by the Pioneers, who appeared to trouble the Rough Riders’ defense by pushing two forwards into the center of the pitch when in possession.
The Riders were able to equalize just before half-time with a laser by Colin Murphy. The industrious midfielder was rewarded for his forward run with a cutback pass and shot from 25 yards out with significant power.
After a stalemate for much of the second half, the Pioneers scored off a corner in the 77th minute. Center-back Mauricio Coimbra pushed the ball over the line with the outside of his foot after a failed clearance by the Riders’ defenders.
The Rough Riders answered with a corner of their own in the 88th minute as Shaun Foster forced the ball in the back of the net near the far post. Long Island pushed for a late winner, only to have their efforts stifled by a brilliant save from goalkeeper Nick Zucco.
The Rough Riders will now take their season on the road as they visit AC Connecticut on May 21st at 6pm.