Women’s Player of the Year

Written by Michael Lewis

After enjoying an outstanding season leading the team in goal-scoring and being a leader on the field, has led to Nikki Bermudez being named the Long Island Rough Riders’ Player of the Year for the 2022 USL W League season.

Bermudez completed the campaign with 10 goals and one assist and was a big reason why the team qualified for the playoffs.

“Nikki was a great asset to the team this season,” Rough Riders head coach Matt Lannon said. “She practiced with a high intensity, and it showed in games. She was one of our main attacking threats and became a leader as the season progressed.”

After a slow start to the campaign in which Bermudez was shut out in her first six matches, she came on like gangbusters the rest of the way, connecting 10 goals and adding one assist in the final five regular games in the stretch run that encompassed 16 days.

Once Bermudez found the net in a game, she was difficult to stop. The Oceanside, N.Y. native found the net twice in a 3-0 win at AC Connecticut on June 25. registered a hat-trick and an assist in a 7-0 triumph at FA Euro New York on June 29, tallied another three goals in a n 18-0 rout of FA Euro New York at home on July 2 and a brace in a 7-0 home victory over the Westchester Flames in the regular-season finale on July 10.

Not surprisingly, Long Island was undefeated during that span with a 4-0-1 record.

The Rough Riders (8-2-2, 26 points) finished second by a point behind Morris Elite SC (8-1-3, 27) in the Metropolitan Division. The team qualified for the playoffs, but lost to Greenville Liberty SC, 2-0, in the opening round on July 13.

Bermudez was just warming up for her final collegiate season. She is attending Mercy College as a graduate student this fall as a Human Resource Management major.

As a senior at Mercy in 2021, the 5-1 Bermudez scored five goals and added three assists in 18 matches while earning United Soccer Coaches All-Region second team honors.

Before transferring to Mercy, Bermudez played three seasons at New York Tech, earning first team All-ECAC and second team All-ECC honors during her sophomore year.

At Oceanside H.S., Bermudez was the team captain as a senior in 2016 while earning All-Nassau County honors after scoring three goals and assisting on two other tallies. She played her club ball with the Massapequa Soccer Club.

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