New Jersey Copa F.C. looked to gain revenge on the Long Island Rough Riders in their 2016 home opener at Mercer County Community College on Sunday afternoon, after dropping a 3-0 loss to them in the UWS Inaugural Game on May 14th. The two sides would battle it out for all 90 minutes in this match, with Copa (1-1-1) and the Rough Riders (1-0-1) having to settle for a 1-1 draw in front of over 650 fans at MCCC.
Copa would take the early lead in the 9th minute, as for the second straight match forward Krystyna Freda would score the first NJCFC goal with thanks to an assist from fellow forward Jeanine Nunez. Both teams would battle it out for the rest of the half until the 38th minute when Long Island forward Christina Bellero scored her third goal of the season off an assist by midfielder Alexa Schneider to tie the game at 1-1.
Freda would have a couple of scoring chances for Copa in the second half, but it was up to NJCFC goalkeeper Kristyn Shea (nine saves) to provide the heroics for the home side. The Providence College shot-stopper made two big saves late in the match to keep the Rough Riders from scoring the game-winning goal and the match ended in the 1-1 draw. Copa could’ve been feeling the effects of their second match in two days, as Long Island out-shoot NJCFC by a 16-11 margin with Rough Riders keeper Melissa Guglielmo making four saves.
Next up for Long Island is a home match on Sunday, June 5, as they host the Lancaster Inferno (0-1) at Saint Anthony’s H.S. for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff.