Six familiar faces will be on the pitch this spring for the Long Island Rough Riders UWS team, which includes a member of Egypt’s women’s national team.
Joining Long Island for the upcoming season is Salma Tarik, Kelly Eagan, Grace Hawkins, Christina Tesoriero, Morgan Santoro and Taylor Elliott.
Tarik, a former star at Hofstra University, has played for the Egyptian national team. In the 2016 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (ACON), she scored the lone goal in Egypt’s 1-0 win over Zimbabwe. The goal was the North African nation’s first ever in ACON.
She currently serves as a coach with the East Meadow Soccer Club and previously was the women’s team head coach at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.
“Salma is an unselfish player who will fit really well into the way I like my team to play,” said Karim Diallo, Rough Riders head coach. “I think she will score a bunch and help create scoring opportunities for others as well.”
Eagan was named the 2016 UWS Defensive Player of the Year while helping guide the Rough Riders to a third-place finish and the East Conference’s best defense with 10 goals allowed.
The Villanova University graduate and St. James native started all 84 games in her career and was a four-time All-Big East and NSCAA All-Region selection while guiding the Wildcats to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2006 and 2009.
“Kelly was a stellar Division I player and had great times with the Rough Riders in the past,” said Diallo. “Her leadership on the field and in the locker room will be a great addition to the group.”
Also returning to the Rough Riders after some time away is Hawkins. The Northport native scored 11 goals in 61 games (22 starts) during her time at Villanova from 2006-09. Hawkins played her graduate season at Hofstra University, helping the Pride advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
“Like Kelly, Grace will also add a lot on the leadership side of things,” the Rough Riders head coach said. “She also adds versatility on the team; she could be used as a back or a forward, which is a plus as far as team depth.”
Tesoriero, a midfielder from East Meadow, had one goal in seven appearances for Long Island (5-3-2) in 2018, scoring in the 9-1 win against Worcester Smiles on July 7. The Iona College graduate had one goal and six assists in 68 games (56 starts) for the Gaels.
“Christina joined us a bit after the season started last year and gave us much-needed depth in the middle of the park,” said Diallo. “She’s technically gifted with great vision, always looking to get her teammates involved. I believe she will have a great season.”
A former star at Adelphi University, Santoro returns for another season with the Rough Riders. The Islip native was tied for second on the Rough Riders with four goals in nine matches in 2018. She added an assist as well, playing 749 minutes.
“She creates a lot of chances for herself and her teammates,” Diallo said of Santoro. “Her willingness to get on the ball means we get to run at defenders a lot which keeps them on their toes.”
Elliott, a forward from Massapequa, had two goals in six matches for the Rough Riders last summer. The Vanderbilt University grad found the back of the net in the 3-1 win against New York Surf on June 6 and again in the 1-0 win at Lancaster Inferno on July 14.
“Taylor is one of the most unselfish players I’ve coached,” Diallo said. “Wherever I need her tactically she’s willing to do what’s best for the team. She’s tall enough to be a target player but also clever to get in between and behind defenders. I believe she will score a few for us this year.”