Needing a win to stay in the hunt for a postseason berth, the Long Island Rough Riders offense exploded on Saturday as they defeated the Worcester Smiles 9-1 in United Women’s Soccer action.
Santoro got Long Island off to a good start early in the match as she scored her first goal just four minutes in. While Worcester’s Jessica Ong put smiles on her teammates’ faces with a goal in the 15th minute, Saager would put the Rough Riders ahead for good in the 28th minute and the extend the lead to 3-1 with her second of the game a minute before halftime.
In the second half, Long Island exploded for six goals as Santoro scored three times, and Erica Modena (Massapequa), Christine Tesoriero (East Meadow) and Marisa Garcia (Babylon) each found the back of the net once.
While the Rough Riders scored nine times, the tally could have been higher if not for the efforts of Worcester keeper Brittany Henderson. Removed from the match in the 66th minute, Henderson posted a UWS-season-high 18 saves for the Smiles.
Long Island keeper Kelsey Daugherty, who was named to the UWS Week VIII Team of the Week, had a considerably easier day in goal making two saves.
The win over Worcester moved Long Island into third place with 14, just one point behind second-place Western New York Flash. A Long Island win on Saturday over first place Inferno Rush, and either or draw or loss by Western New York — which meets Rochester Lancers on Saturday — would see the Rough Riders move into second place and a possible playoff spot.