Women’s Player’s Player of the Year

Written by Michael Lewis

On a talented team such as the Long Island Rough Riders, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle, especially if one a player is a late addition to the squad.

On a team that boasted not one, not two, not even three, but six goalkeepers during the USL W League campaign, it certainly a difficult spot to find oneself in.

Alana Brennan emerged from a talented pack and played in five matches for the team and earned the Unsung Player of the Year award.

“Alana was a late addition to the team this season and really stepped up,” head coach Matt Lannon. “She was a pleasure to coach, her positive outlook definitely had an influence on the group!”

In her five matches, Brennan recorded an 84.2 save percentage, conceding only three goals while registering a 4-1-0 mark. Three of those wins – and shutouts – came down the stretch run during which Long Island clinched a playoff berth.

After playing half the game in a 1-0 home loss too Cedar Stars on June 12, the Patchogue, N.Y. native started to make an impact in a 3-2 home victory over Manhattan SC three days later. With the game on the line in the 84th minute, she preserved the win by coming out of her net to deny Anna Griffin, who had come off the bench to knot the game up at 2-2 in the 68th minute.

Brennan played the entire 90 minutes in a 3-0 victory over host AC Connecticut on June 25. She then shared a pair of home shutouts – an 18-0 romp past FA Euro New York on July 6 and a 7-0 triumph over the Westchester Flames in the regular season finale on July 10.

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

Success was no stranger to Brennan. In 2015, she finished her collegiate career as the winningest goalkeeper in UAlbany history with 20 victories. Brennan also was the program leader in saves (322) and goals-against average (1.68).

Brennan captained the St. John the Baptist High School women’s squad in 2011 while earning team MVP honors. She also helped the Cougars to the league and New York State titles in 2009. Brennan also won a national championship, helping the New York Athletic Club to the 2014 U.S. Amateur Soccer Association Open Cup crown in 2014. She was a standout on the Smithtown Attack team.

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