The Long Island Rough Riders made UWS history on Saturday night at home, winning 3-0 and scoring the first ever league goal in the process. Goals by Christina Bellero (2) and Taylor Elliott gave the Riders the win over New Jersey Copa FC in their inaugural game of the new semi-pro women’s league.
The Rough Riders opened the score in the 16th minute when Bellero ran onto a ball over the top from captain, Alexa Schneider, beating the keeper 1v1 to score the first ever goal in UWS history. Bellero, a freshman at St. John’s University, received the ball about 30 yards out and slotted the ball low in the corner after a long run with the ball at her feet.
The Riders continued the scoring in the 25th minute with some excellent wide play. Taylor Elliott ran in between two defenders to volley a cross from Laura Gomez into the back of the net. Gomez and Elliott spent much of the first half switching roles efficiently, from center forward to wing, keeping the Copa FC defense guessing in the process.
The second half opened the way first finished when Bellero received a ball in between the full-back and center-back, scoring on a powerful shot against freshly substituted keeper, Kristyn Shea. Bellero continued to be the Riders’ main antagonist in the second half, tucking in from wide areas with timely runs. Center-back Mikhaila Martinov made several timely interceptions and ensured that Rough Riders’ goalkeeper, Melissa Guglielmo, maintained her clean sheet.
The Rough Riders now travel to New Jersey for the same fixture on May22nd at 4:30pm.