Women’s College Check In

Written by Michael Lewis

Whether its scoring goals, assisting on them or denying the opposition, Long Island Rough Riders women continue to make an impact in colleges this fall.

The players came off a successful USL W League season as the squad finished as runners-up in the Metropolitan Division (8-2-2) and qualified the playoffs.

Here are some player updates as the regular season winds down before the various conference playoffs heat up:

Nikki Bermudez

Forward Nikki Bermudez has enjoyed an outstanding season for Mercy College, striking for nine goals and adding five assists in 14 matches. Bermudez, the Rough Riders’ Women’s Player of the Year, snapped a personal five-game scoreless streak with a hat-trick and an assist in an 11-0 win at Lincoln University (Pa.) on Oct. 19.

A resident of Oceanside, N.Y. Bermudez has been a big reason why the Mustangs (12-2-0) are undefeated (7-0-0) in the East Coast Conference. They’re 15th in the latest United Soccer Coaches Division II rankings.

Jessica Hoyt

A graduate student who comes from King Park, N.Y., Hoyt has tallied five times for Mercy. Her most recent goal was in the victory at Lincoln on Oct. 19. Hoyt’s most memorable performance of the season was when she bagged a brace at Molloy College on Sept. 24.

Alexa Vegoda

A defender-midfielder, Vegoda has been an iron woman for Binghamton University (7-5-3, 4-1-1), playing all but eight minutes of the season (1,342 minutes). The Bearcats are tied for first place in the America East standings. The Plainview, N.Y. native has one goal and three assists this season, all in her last seven appearances. Vegoda scored the lone goal in a 2-1 defeat to the University of New Hampshire on Oct. 9 and registered assists against Bryan University, Delaware State and the University of Vermont.

Sofia Quijada

Quijada, a sophomore defender from New Hyde Park, has helped Trinity College (5-2-6, 3-1-4) to record six shutouts in her 12 appearances and 11 starts. In fact, when Quijada has played, the Bantams have allowed only six goals and never gave up more than one in a game. An impressive number for the New England Small College Athletic Conference team. She has one goal this season, in a 1-0 win over Clark University on Sept. 18.

Hope Neale

Neale, a midfielder, has helped Swarthmore College to an 11-2-1 record. The Syosset, N.Y. resident has one assist this campaign for the Garnet, which is receiving votes in the latest United Soccer Coaches Division III rankings. In her 14 matches and 12 starts, Swarthmore has allowed 13 goals.

Nina Carlomusto

The Hicksville, N.Y. native has started 13 matches over 16 contests for Fairleigh Dickinson University, which is 6-8-2 overall, but is 5-0-2 in the Northeast Conference. Carlomusto, a senior defender, has logged 1,095 minutes and has recorded one assist, in the 3-0 win over Long Island University on Oct. 13.

Nicolette Caneda

Caneda, a midfielder-forward, Caneda scored her first goal of the campaign for Manhattan College in a 1-1 draw at Mount St. Mary’s University on Oct. 12. That turned out to be a vital goal for the Jaspers (3-7-3, 1-5-2), who earned a point. They are tied with Rider University for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Manhattan will host Monmouth University in its regular season home finale on Oct. 27. Caneda, a sophomore who hails from New Hyde Park, N.Y. has played in 13 contests and started four times.

Elizabeth Cruz

Cruz, a junior midfielder, has made an impact for George Washington University (6-3-6, 1-3-3) recently. The Manhasset, N.Y. native set up the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Chicago State on Oct. 9. Four days later, she came off the bench to score her first goal of the season and the game-winner, off a corner kick in the 62nd minute in a 2-1 triumph over St. Bonaventure.

Stephanie Sparkowski

Sparkowski, a junior goalkeeper who hails from East Meadow, N.Y., has seen 145 minutes of action for the University of Michigan (6-7-3). She has surrendered one goal and boasts a 0.67 goals-against average. Sparkowski, who has made seven saves this season, played 45 minutes in her most recent appearance, a 1-0 loss at the University of Nebraska on Sept. 25.

Lauren Hoolahan

The East Northport, N.Y. native has seen action in two matches for McDaniel College (7-4-4). The junior goalkeeper has played 42 minutes and three seconds, surrendering one goal for a 2.14 GAA.

The Rough Riders will have periodic updates on its men’s and women’s players during the college fall soccer season.


Don’t miss out on exciting club news, ticket offers, program discounts and more!


Don’t miss out on exciting club news, ticket offers, program discounts and more!