For the second consecutive season, the Long Island Rough Riders (0-0-1 UWS East) would host the official kickoff match of the United Women’s Soccer season. But unlike in 2016 when they dealt New Jersey Copa FC their lone regular season loss, Long Island would instead get a dagger in the heart by Western New York Flash.
As time ticked off the clock, Flash defender Kaelyn Gamel would head home a corner kick from midfielder Brittany Heist to notch the vital 1-1 road draw for the visitors at Cy Donnelly Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Amidst rainy and windy conditions, the Rough Riders opened the scoring in the 31st minute when Marist College forward Hope Quinonez beat WNY goalkeeper Megan Tock (four saves) with her shot inside the penalty area for the 1-0 lead. The midfield tandem of Morgan Santoro and Kimberly Marra ran the show for the home side, keeping the visitor’s attack in check.
Long Island would out-shoot Western New York by a 6-1 margin and led in corner kicks (6-3) but the Flash would find their way into the game in the second half. Goalkeeper Melissa Guglielmo would not see a shot on her until Heist’s corner kick in the 87th minute.
Information provided by United Women’s Soccer.