The Long Island Rough Riders could not have asked for a better weekend in Western New York.
They played two teams, recorded two shutouts and as many wins to solidify their hold on the East.
Long Island (3-0-1) bested the Western New York Flash (0-2-2), 7-0, Saturday night and then stopped the Rochester Lady Lancers Sunday afternoon, 2-0.
On Saturday night, Long Island grabbed a fifth-minute lead as Madison Vasquez scored on a breakaway. Meghan Santoro followed that up with a goal in the 15th minute for a 2-0 advantage.
The Flash played some stout defense for more than 20 minutes, until Santoro and Francesca Venezia added another two tallies in the latter stages of the first half. Kayla Saager pulled off a natural hat-trick in the second half. Flash goalkeeper Meg Tock made several big saves.
Sunday afternoon’s game between the Rochester Lady Lancers (0-3-1) and the Rough Riders at Charlie Schiano Sr. Field at Aquinas Institute was a tale of two halves for the host side. Rochester had their best opportunities to come away with a win in the first half but could not convert, while Long Island came out in the second half and put its stamp on the game in a 2-0 victory for the visitors. Goalkeeper Melissa Guglielmo made three saves in the shutout.
The Lady Lancers pushed the pace and created pressure through two scoring chances by forward Alexa Antetomaso early on. But Rochester goalkeeper Caitie Broderick (12 saves) had to also make a pair of high-quality stops to keep the score at 0-0 at halftime. The Rough Riders held the run of play in the second half as Santoro came off the bench and netted the game-winner in the 60th minute on a through ball. In the 79th minute, Saager lofted her shot past Broderick from 20 yards out.
New England Mutiny 1, New York Magic 0
The Mutiny avoided a loss in the second of its two-game weekend road trip to New York City on Sunday night, coming away with a 1-0 win over the Magic at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn.
After suffering a 4-2 defeat to the New York Surf in the Bronx on Saturday, playing in Brooklyn the next day proved to be just as difficult for the Mutiny (3-1) as its old rival in the Magic (0-2-1) made it a long evening for the visitors. New England goalkeeper Gabby Arruda made her first start of the season, and she proved her worth with two fine stops in the first half.
The second half saw the Mutiny find more joy in the offensive end as the offside trap played by the hosts frustrated them (9-1). Defender Lauren Aldrich foreshadowed her heroics later in the match with an effort in the 62nd minute, forcing a big save from New York keeper Sierra Bonham. In the 86th minute, she took advantage of a lapse in attention by the Magic defense and went in on a breakaway off a throw-in. Aldrich beat Bonham.