The Rough Riders Men began their 2017 PDL campaign with a convincing 5 -1 win against divisional foe Westchester Flames. The game began in the midst of storm that saw heavy rain, driving wind and unseasonable cold weather. The conditions contributed to sloppy first half where neither team could establish possession or find any type of consistency. As the conditions continued to deteriorate, standing water began to accumulate on the field. The start of the 2nd half was delayed for almost an hour as the Rough Riders staff worked to clear the pitch of standing water. The extended break proved fruitful for the Rough Riders. They came out flying and scored 3 goals in 15 minutes. They opened the scoring in the 50th minute when Tyler Botte nodded down a long ball for Shaun Foster to volley home from 10 yards out. Botte then got his goal in the 56th minute and beautiful volley from 40 yards out over the helpless Flames GK. Team captain Tom Wharf then got on the score sheet in the 60th minute. He broke up a Westchester attack in his half and started the counter attack going the other way. After a blistering combination of passes, Wharf connected on a far-post cross from Botte and scored off a diving header. Westchester was able to pull one goal back in the 68 minute on a quick counter. The Rough Riders were able to ice the game with 2 goals by Tyler Arnone in the 71st and 86th minutes to close out wild opening game.
The Rough Riders will be facing FC Boston next Saturday night at Cy Donnelly Stadium on the campus of St. Anthony’s H.S.