It’s a big weekend for the Long Island Rough Riders and the objective is simple.
To qualify for the United Women’s Soccer East Conference final, the Rough Riders need two wins this weekend as they face the New York Magic on Friday and Lancaster Inferno on Sunday. Long Island (5-2-1) is currently fourth in the UWS East Conference with 16 points, trailing NJ Copa (8-1-1; 25 points), New England Mutiny (7-3-0; 21 points) and New York Surf (6-2-2; 20 points).
First, the New York Magic await. Kickoff is 5 p.m. Friday at Cy Donnelly Stadium on the campus of St. Anthony’s High School. The Magic are winless with a tie in nine games this season. On Sunday, Long Island will welcome the Lancaster Inferno (4-5-0) to St. Anthony’s with kickoff scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
“The approach to the game needs to be the same as it has been all season,” said Flavio Ferri, Rough Riders general manager. “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.”
The Rough Riders are coming off a tough 3-2 loss at the Surf on July 8. Long Island led 1-0 on a goal by Erica Modina in the 25th minute before the Surf scored twice in the second half. Long Island came back to tie the match at 2 in the 77th minute on a goal by Morgan Santoro before surrendering the deciding goal in the 87th. Erica Murphy scored all three goals for New York.
“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 fairest result. We have to learn from that game as we have two finals coming up.”