This story was originally published in Soccer New York in 1995.
Kim Wyant (left), with Peter Collins, Sr. at a save our fields event in Brentwood, N.Y. in 2002. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
CINCINNATI – Before the season, the Long Island Rough Riders signed World Cup captain and goalkeeper Tony Meola as their final piece to the U.S. Interregional Soccer League puzzle.
The Long Island Lady Riders did a similar thing, signing former national team goalkeeper Kim Wyant for the U.S. Women’s Interregional Soccer League season.
There was one slight difference.
Meola commuted from his house in Kearny, N.J.
Wyant commuted to games from her home in Orlando, Fla.
Despite that hardship, Wyant acquitted herself quite well, earning goalkeeper of the league during the regular season and for the playoffs for the USWISL champion Lady Riders. They captured the league title in August 1995.
“I’ve never been on a national championship game” Wyant said. “I really wanted to win a national championship.
“I hope it [the commuting] made it worthwhile. I didn’t mind making the commitment. The team received me warmly. They supported me to help bring me into the team. It made it easier for me on an emotional level.”
Physically, Wyant was at the top of her game as U.S. women’s national team coach Tony DiCicco, who attended the tournament, was so impressed with her performance he invited the 31-year-old keeper to national team camp this fall.
Wyant’s best moments came in the 1-0 victory over the Texas Lightning as she made eight saves. Her most important saves came in the second half. In the 62nd minute, she tipped Dawn Crow’s 24-yard free kick out of bounds and in the 79th minute, she dove do the right to deny Erin Huston.
“She definitely kept us in the game,” coach Peter Collins said.
“She had a great tournament,” said forward Gina Vassallo-Tucker, the tournament MVP.