SOUTH HUNTINGTON, NY - Win and in. The objective is that simple. The Long Island Rough Riders need to win their final two games of the 2017 United Women’s Soccer (UWS) season in order to qualify for the East Final against regular-season champion New Jersey Copa FC on Tuesday, July 18. The winner of the East Final will receive the automatic berth into the 2017 UWS National Championship (July 21-22) held in Grandville, MI.
First, the New York Magic await. Kickoff is at 5:00 PM on Friday from Cy Donnelly Stadium on the campus of St. Anthony’s High School.
“The approach to the game needs to be the same as it has been all season,” Rough Riders General Manager Flavio Ferri said. “The key is to focus exclusively against the Magic and not look ahead. Another important factor is not to press too much for the result and show patience and composure.”
Long Island (5-2-1 East) is currently fourth in the UWS East Conference with 16 points, trailing NJCFC (8-1-1; 25 points), New England Mutiny (7-3; 21 points) and New York Surf (6-2-2; 20 points).
The Rough Riders are coming off a heartbreaking 3-2 loss at the Surf on Saturday, July 8th. Long Island led 1-0 on a goal by Erica Modina in the 25th minute before the Surf scored twice in the second half. The visitors came back to knot it at 2-all in the 77th on a goal by Morgan Santoro before surrendering the deciding goal in the 87th.
“The team played well,” Ferri said. “That said, we could have been a bit more aggressive at times. It was a good match and I think a draw would have been the most fair result. We have to learn from that game as we have two finals coming up.”
The Magic (0-8-1; 1 point) are at the bottom of the division following a 6-0 loss to Western New York Flash on July 8th. A win against their rivals keeps the Rough Riders’ hopes alive for a playoff berth, needing another three points against Lancaster (4-5; 12 points) at home on Sunday, July 16th (1:30 PM kickoff).
“The Magic are a local rival and although we have historically done well against them, the results have generally been close,” Ferri said. “They have an opportunity to knock us out of the playoffs and I’m sure they will be motivated. We beat the Inferno by a large margin (6-1) earlier in the season. That said, I don’t think that score represents the difference in the two teams. Knowing a draw or loss eliminates us, I’m sure our players will be focused and ready to play.”
About United Women’s Soccer (UWS): UWS is a national women’s soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer through the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). UWS is a professionally operated league created for teams that meet high minimum standards. The season runs from May until the end of July, culminating in a National Championship match. The UWS player pool is comprised of college players, aspiring & former professionals and international stars. You can follow UWS on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Media can contact UWS Director of Communications Jorma Kansanen by e-mail at UWSPress@gmail.com. You can visit the league’s official website at UWSSoccer.com. Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.