Long Island Rough Riders (UWS)
|Full name||Long Island Rough Riders|
|Stadium||Hofstra University Soccer Stadium|
|Head Coach||Adam Whitehead|
|League||United Women's Soccer|
Long Island Rough Riders, formerly known as the Long Island Lady Riders, is an American women’s soccer team, based out of Long Island, New York. Founded in 1994, the team was under the ownership of Chuck Jacob, who at the time also owned the men's Long Island Rough Riders up until 1997 before selling it to Frank Boulton. At this time, the Rough Riders transitioned names and became known as the Lady Riders for several years. In 2007, the Rough Riders acquired territorial and franchise rights to the women's Lady Riders team. For the first time since 1997, the men's and women's teams would be under the same name and they have been ever since. The team is a member of United Women's Soccer, the second tier of women’s soccer in the United States and Canada. The team competes in the Eastern Division against the Lancaster Inferno, Laval Comets, New England Mutiny, New Jersey Copa FC, New York Magic, North Jersey Valkyries, and the Quebec Dynamo ARSQ. The Rough Riders were an original member of the USL W-League and played in all 21 seasons before the league disbanded in late 2015.
The team plays its home games at Hofstra University Soccer Stadium. The club's colors are blue and white.
Early years in the USL W-League
Established in 1994, the Long Island Women's Rough Riders participated in the United Soccer League W-League. Under the ownership of Chuck Jacob, the team had a very successful inaugural season as they won the very first W-League Championship in 1995. During this same year, the men's Rough Riders also won a championship.
During 1996, the women's Rough Riders finished the 1996 season in second place of the W-League. The team had an overall record of 7-3-0 and they did not qualify for playoffs. Kim Wyant, the goalkeeper of the women's Rough Riders garnered W-League Goalkeeper of the Year accolades for the second consecutive season.
The women's Rough Riders ended the 1997 season on top of their division with an overall record of 9-1-0. During the championship playoff series, former ((United States National Team)) goalkeeper, Kim Wyant, shutout the defending champions, the Maryland Pride, and defeated California Storm, 3-2, after winning 1-0 in the penalty shootout. During the championship match against the Chicago Cobras, the Rough Riders took the lead in the 48th minute, as Jen Bauman struck a shot that found the back of Chicago's net. The Cobras provided an equalizer goal just a few minutes later and both teams battled through overtime where the game was decided in a penalty shootout. Wyant made key saves, allowing just one goal against in the shootout. Her performance did not go unrecognized as she was awarded MVP honors of the post season tournament. Debbie Johnson scored the first goal for the Rough Riders and Teresa Petruccelli secured the game winner, leading the team to their second W-League Championship since 1995. During the team's offseason in 1997, Chuck Jacob, the owners of both the men's and women's Rough Riders, sold the teams to Frank Boulton, the current owner of the Long Island Ducks.
Transition to the W-1 Division
With the transition to the W-1 Division in 1998, the Lady Riders finished the season in third place of the North Division, having an overall record of 10-4. The team advanced to the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Lady Riders advanced to the Divisional Finals, where they were defeated by Maryland 2-1. Kim Wyant, goalkeeper of the Lady Riders received postseason honors for her contributions that she had during the season. Wyant was named the W-League Goalkeeper of the Year for the fourth consecutive season.
The Lady Riders completed the 1999 regular season, finishing in second place of the W-1 Division with an overall 10-4-1 record. They advanced to the divisional playoffs where they were defeated 4-1 in the first round by Maryland. The Lady Riders also participated in an exhibition match against the Brazilian Women's National Team, where they went on to pull an upset and defeat their opponents.
In 2000, the Lady Riders finished the season in second place of the Northeast Division of the USL W-League W-1, compiling an overall 10-3-1 record. Despite the second-place finish in their division, the Lady Riders did not qualify for the playoffs.
The 2001 season ended with the Lady Riders finishing on top of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference within the USL W-League W-1. They had an overall record of 11-2-1 and had a total of 51 points. The team solidified a spot in the post season conference playoffs. During the Conference Semifinals, the Lady Riders defeated Springfield 2-1 and advanced to the Conference Final match. The Lady Riders post season ended in the Conference Final match as they lost 3-1 to Boston.
Transition back to the USL W-League
After transitioning back to the USL W-League for the 2002 season, the Lady Riders were yet again on the leaderboard in the division's standings. The team had an 11-3-0 record. Emma Hayes, the Lady Riders head coach, received W-League honors following the team's successful season. Hayes was named the W-League Coach of the Year for her results with the team for the season.
The Lady Riders ended the 2003 season in second place in the Northeast Division of the W-League. They garnered a 9-5-0 record, totaling 27 points overall and clinched a spot in the playoffs. The team advanced to the divisional championships, where they were eliminated by the New Jersey Stallions, following a 4-2 loss.
During the following year, the Lady Riders completed the season having a record of 11-3-0 and a total of 33 points. The team finished in second place of the Northeast division. Their record secured the team a spot in the post season playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. The Lady Riders went on to compete in the Eastern Divisional Final match against the New Jersey Stallions. During this match, the Lady Riders defeated the Stallions 1-0 and moved on to the Eastern Semifinals match, where they were to take on the Montreal Extreme. This match was a high scoring game as both the Montreal Extreme and the Long Island Lady Riders both tallied multiple goals throughout the game. It was the Montreal Extreme that prevailed in the end as they defeated the Long Island Lady Riders 6-5, advancing to the Eastern Championship game.
In 2005, the Lady Riders finished the season having an 8-6-0 record and a total of 24 points. They found themselves positioned in third place of the Northeast Division and advanced to the playoffs for the tenth time since their inaugural season in 1995. During the quarterfinal match, the Lady Riders faced the Western Mass Lady Pioneers. The Lady Riders went on to defeat the Lady Pioneers 3-1 and moved on to the Eastern Semifinal match against the Ottawa Fury Women. It was a tough Seminfinal matchup as the Lady Riders post season came to an end with a 5-1 loss against the Fury.
2006 was another year and season in which the Lady Riders clinched a spot in the playoffs. The team ended their season in fourth place of the Northeast Division holding a 7-5-2 record and 23 points overall. During the playoffs,the Lady Riders advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinal where they suffered a 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Wildcats.
In 2007, Kim Wyant, the former face of the Long Island Lady Riders team, whether it was as a coach, player, or General Manager, stepped down from her role with the team as she looked to begin another chapter in her life. The Long Island Rough Riders acquired the W-League franchise, formerly known as the Long Island Lady Riders. This season was the first season since 1997 that both the men's and women's teams would be known as the Rough Riders. Flavio Ferri, the Rough Riders General Manager, announced that there was going to be co-coaches for the women's team. Under the dual coaching staff of John Fitzgerald and Declan McSheffrey, the team finished a tough season in 6th place of the Northeast Division with an overall record of 5-7-2 and only 17 points. The team did not secure a berth into the post season playoffs.
The Women's Rough Riders ended the 2008 season in second place of the Northeast Division. With an overall 9-3-2 record and 29 points, the Women's Rough Riders clinched a spot in the playoffs. During the Eastern Divisional match, Brooke DeRosa scored the match's only goal and it led the team past the Boston Renegades, 1-0. They went on to advance to the Eastern Semifinal match where their post season ended in a 1-0 defeat against the Atlanta Silverbacks Women.
Following a very successful 2008 season, where the team qualified for the Conference Final Four, the Women's Rough Riders looked to return to the W-League playoffs for the second consecutive season. The team saw several key players return for the 2009 season. These veteran players included Kerri McCabe and Brooke DeRosa. The Women's Rough Riders also welcome U-20 United States National Team member, Gina DiMartino to the team for the 2009 season. The team finished a difficult season in fourth place of the Northeast Division, with a 6-7-1 record overall. They failed to clinch a spot in the playoffs.
In 2010, the Rough Riders completed the season, finishing in fourth place of the Northeast Division. The team had a 7-5-0 record and tallied 21 points on the season. It was another challenging season and the team failed to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.
The 2011 season ended with the Women's Rough Riders having a 7-1-2 record. The team finished on top of the Northeast Division in the Eastern Conference and they advanced to the Conference Semifinals after failing to qualify for the previous two seasons. In a hard, fought battle, the Rough Riders lost 2-1 in the Semifinal match against the Charlotte Lady Eagles. During the postseason, the Rough Riders received the Fair Play Award for their sportsmanlike conduct throughout the season.
In 2012, the Women's Rough Riders clinched the Northeast Division title for the second consecutive season, having a regular season, 9-3-0 record. During a crucial regular season finale matchup against the New Jersey Valkyries, the Rough Riders advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinal, where they were set to take on the Charlotte Lady Eagles in a rematch from last season's semifinal. Looking to help the team change last season's result was W-League Most Valuable Player, and leading goal scorer, Grace Hawkins. Hawkins led the league as she tallied 17 goals and 38 points in just 12 games for the Northeast Division Champions. The Rough Riders season came to an end during the semifinal match as they were defeated by the Lady Eagles, 4-0. The offseason saw former Rough Riders standout, Crystal Dunn become a U-20 World Cup Champion as she helped lead the United States team to victory against Germany. Dunn also headed to the NCAA College Cup with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. She scored two important goals, including the overtime game winner, to lead the team to the semifinal match against Stanford. The Tar Heels went on to claim their twenty-second NCCA Championship with help from Dunn as she provided assists in both the semifinal and championship matches. In December 2012, Dunn was named a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious award in NCAA Division I soccer.
The 2013 season marked the return of two time W-League Defender of the Year, Sue Alber-Weber. Weber, who did not play in the 2012 season, looked to return to the field in hopes of helping the team reach another postseason. Finishing with an overall record of 6-6-0, the Women's Rough Riders failed to secure a spot in the playoffs. In April 2013, it was announced that Vaila Barsley, a former player of the team during the 2009-2010 and 2012 seasons, signed a professional contract with Sweden's Eskilstuna United. Two Rough Riders players received recognition for their season contributions. Defender, Gabrielle Charno and midfielder, Grace Hawkins, were named to the W-League All Conference Team.
The Women's Rough Riders finished a tough season in fifth place of the Northeast Conference of the W-League. The team had an overall record of 3-4-5. The offseason saw two former players, Crystal Dunn and Kim DeCesare get drafted in to the National Women's Soccer League. Dunn, a four-year standout at the University of North Carolina, had a successful senior campaign as she led the team with 14 goals and a total of 34 points, including 6 game winning goals. Dunn was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year, NSCAA All-American and First Team All-ACC for the fourth consecutive year. She was a Hermann Trophy Finalist and a nominee to the Honda Award. Dunn was drafted first by the Washington Spirit. DeCesare played collegiately for Duke University, where she ranks sixth all time with 29 career goals, ninth with 73 points and ninth with game winning goals, while also registering 15 career assists. She was drafted by the Boston Breakers.
In 2015, the Women's Rough Riders welcomed back Sue Alber-Weber for her sixth season with the team. This season, the team also signed a former Welsh National Team member and recent Middle Tennessee State graduate, Shan Jones, to the team for the season. The team finished in third place of the Northeast Conference, holding a 6-2-4 overall record. The Rough Riders were six points shy from securing a spot in the playoffs. Three Rough Riders players received W-League accolades following their 2015 season campaign. The W-League announced its All-Conference teams, where Rough Riders, Shan Jones, Casie Ludemann and Sue Alber-Weber were all named to the team. In addition, Shan Jones and Sue Alber-Weber were named to the 2015 W-League All-League team. In September, former Rough Rider player, Crystal Dunn, was voted the MVP of the National Women's Soccer League. Dunn was also the third consecutive Golden Boot Winner of the league as she tallied 15 goals in 20 appearances, setting a new record with 0.75 points per team games.
Long Island went 8-2-2 in 2017 en route to the UWS Eastern Conference title and berth in the UWS National Championship Semifinal. The Rough Riders, who scored a conference-best 35 goals during the regular season and tied for the second-best defense (10 goals allowed), lost on penalty kicks to eventual UWS champion Grand Rapids FC in the national semifinal.
Current Roster 2015
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable former players
|1995||USL W-League||1st, Eastern||Champions|
|1996||USL W-League||2nd, Eastern||Did not qualify|
|1997||USL W-League||1st, Eastern||Champions|
|1998||USL W-League W-1||3rd, Northern||Conference Final|
|1999||USL W-League W-1||2nd, Northern||Divisional Playoffs|
|2000||USL W-League W-1||2nd, Northeast||Did not qualify|
|2001||USL W-League W-1||1st, Northern||Conference Finals|
|2002||USL W-League||1st, Northeast||Conference Finals|
|2003||USL W-League||2nd, Northeast||Divisional Finals|
|2004||USL W-League||2nd, Northeast||Conference Semifinals|
|2005||USL W-League||3rd, Northeast||Conference Semifinals|
|2006||USL W-League||4th, Northeast||Conference Semifinals|
|2007||USL W-League||6th, Northeast||Did not qualify|
|2008||USL W-League||2nd, Northeast||Conference Semifinals|
|2009||USL W-League||5th, Northeast||Did not qualify|
|2010||USL W-League||4th, Northeast||Did not qualify|
|2011||USL W-League||1st, Northeast||Conference Semifinals|
|2012||USL W-League||1st, Northeast||Conference Semifinals|
|2013||USL W-League||3rd, Northeast||Did not qualify|
|2014||USL W-League||5th, Northeast||Did not qualify|
|2015||USL W-League||3rd, Northeast||Did not qualify|
|2016||United Women's Soccer||3rd, East||Did not qualify|
|2017||United Women's Soccer||2nd, East||National Semifinals|
|Head Coach||Adam Whitehead|
|Equipment Manager||Terrance Hinds|
|Winthrop University Hospital||Chris Napoli|
Last updated: March 2016
Source:Long Island Rough Riders Official Website
- Hofstra University Soccer Stadium (2018-present)
- Cy Donelly Stadium at St. Anthony's High School, South Huntington, New York 2008-17
- Michael Tully Field, New Hyde Park, New York 2007-08