This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Long Island Lady Rider’s national championship, and seven of the club’s former players were inducted into the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame last weekend.
Caitlin Connolly Duncan, Laura Martin Ferri, Gina Tucker, Dina Grossman-Case and Traci Sofsian Maier all played for the team in 1997 when it won the semi-pro W-League national title. Kim Conway Haley was with the club in 1995 when it won the first W-League title, while Welsh played for the team in 2000 after a decorated college career. The group was inducted on March 4 in Melville at the Long Island Junior Soccer League’s annual convention.
Welsh won the Hermann Trophy, which honors the top Division I soccer player, at Penn State and led the Nittany Lions to four-straight Big Ten championships from 1999 to 2002. She was the first four-time NSCAA All-American in women’s history. Prior to her collegiate career, she helped lead Massapequa to the 1997 state championship. Welsh also scored 20 goals for the United States national team in 39 games from 2000 to 2008.
Conway Haley was a Hermann Trophy finalist and All-American Player for Virginia in 1993 after leading South Side to its first state title in 1987. She also played for the United States Under-20 and World University Games national teams.
Connolly Duncan played for Duke from 1989 to 1992 and was an All-ACC player in her senior year, after playing for the Sachem Tomahawks youth team. Martin Ferri, a Massapequa product, was a two-time All-American for Adelphi in 1996 and 1997. Tucker earned All-American honors for Boston College in 1989 after winning a state title with Northport in 1984.
Grossman-Case and Sofsian Maier were teammates with Haley on the 1987 state-title winning South Side team. Grossman-Case then went to Cornell where she was a four-time All-Ivy League selection. Sofsian Maier captained Princeton and earned second-team All-Ivy honors in 1993.