BUFFALO, NY. (WKBW) — On a beautiful Buffalo evening at D’Youville University, the reigning back-to-back NY-Penn division champion FC Buffalo women’s soccer team begins its preparation for the Eastern Conference title game.
“I think a big part of our success has been the willingness and adaptability of all the players to step up when their name is called," says forward Carissima Cutrona.
FC Buffalo has used that mindset to create a culture that sparks this team’s chemistry. And that all starts with leadership, like the kind they get from Cutrona.
“She’s that leader on and off the field. A super great role model," head coach Nikki Bartholomew said. "Just a good character person on and off the field.”
Her teammates elevate their game playing alongside her. Grand Island high school’s Ella Rudney scored two goals in her debut with the team on Saturday. Helping lead this team to victory.
“After I scored the two goals and we won, I was just excited to play again honestly. I didn’t think much about it," Rudney told 7 Sports.
In only their second year of existence FC Buffalo’s success is starting to draw attention from across the league.
“We knew that we had a really talented team. But obviously we have to be tested against other teams. I’m not surprised based on all the talent that we have and how well this group has come together," Cutrona adds.
Beyond the wins and losses this team cares about the name on the front of those jerseys. To them the city of good neighbors isn’t a nickname. It's who they are.
“I’ve always been a Bills fan, like Buffalo. And so playing for a team that has the name Buffalo is really interesting and I never thought that would happen," Rudney says.
“I think it brings everyone together. Unity. Community is unity. So if we can be a platform for that, it’s an amazing thing," adds Bartholomew.