Carissima Cutrona is thankful to continue her soccer journey with her hometown FC Buffalo

When FC Buffalo decided to launch a women’s team into United Women’s Soccer for 2021, adding homegrown star Carissima Cutrona to the inaugural roster seemed like a no-brainer. “It is so exciting to be a part of the first season of the FC Buffalo Women’s soccer team,” Cutrona told BGN. “This area has so many talented soccer players who now have the opportunity to continue playing at a competitive level during the summer.”

If anyone would know about the soccer talent in the area, it would be Carissima. A native of Williamsville, New York, the two-time high school All-American went on to have an accomplished career at the University of Buffalo from 2015-2018. Now, she gets to represent the city in the UWS. “Playing every level of soccer in Buffalo has been really special and is something I take a lot of pride in,” she explained. “Growing up here, I used to go watch the UB Womens soccer games and watch other higher level teams in the area. At the time, those players were my idols and I wanted to be just like them. I’ve had that opportunity at UB and now with the FC Buffalo Women’s team.”

“I hope to inspire the next generation of young soccer players and show them how much fun playing for your hometown teams can be. Most importantly, playing in Buffalo has given my family the opportunity to see all of my games. They are my biggest supporters and I’m so thankful we have gotten to share this journey together.”

Going back to her college years on that journey, Carissima was an all-time great at the University of Buffalo. In addition to being named to the All-MAC First Team twice, she is tied for fifth in school history in assists and is sixth in goals and points. “Playing collegiate soccer is a once in a lifetime experience,” Carissima reflected. “I think once you graduate and your college career is over, you’re able to look back and really appreciate it for what it was. Some of the memories I cherish the most are the simple things like hanging out and living with teammates, traveling all around the country and to Spain, and the feeling of scoring a goal during my games.”

Despite those great times and all of the accolades, Cutrona couldn’t translate that success into an opportunity in the NWSL because of an injury. She said, “My career at UB was cut short by an ACL tear injury, so it was definitely frustrating to not be healthy enough that year for a chance in the NWSL.”

Now that she’s healthy and still only 25 years old, Cutrona is back to showcasing her skills on the pitch and has a bright soccer future in front of her. She explained, “As someone who has torn both my right and left ACL’s in my knees, coming back and playing for this FC Buffalo women’s team has given me the opportunity to prove to myself that I can get through one of the toughest injuries in sports, twice, and still return to play at a high level.”

“I am always open to whatever opportunities may come my way in terms of playing soccer. I really am just enjoying every moment of being back on the field!”

While she enjoys every moment on the pitch, Carissima thinks fans in the area will have just as much fun when they attend a match. Making the pitch to someone on the fence about coming out to a match, she said, “The FC Buffalo matches are a great opportunity to watch high-level soccer players in a fun atmosphere at an inexpensive price. There is a supporter’s section, named The Situation Room, who have been longtime fans of the men’s side and who have now shown just as much excitement with their chants, drums, and cowbell, for the women’s side.”

“We really appreciate everyone who comes out to support the club in our inaugural season!”

If you’re coming in from out of town, she also has you covered on some places to go and things to do in the area. “There are a lot of fun things to do in Buffalo for visitors,” Carissima said. “Visitors should definitely check out Niagara Falls, which is pretty close by. There are also so many delicious spots to eat, but if you want something Buffalo is most known for, you will have to eat some chicken wings.”

Bar Bill is my personal favorite spot for wings. During the summer months, Buffalo’s waterfront is a great place to enjoy the weather and scenery.”

Cutrona and FC Buffalo are off to a great start in their first campaign, 4-0-0 and sitting atop the East Conference. Carissima, who has an assist in all four victories, is confident in the club’s success moving forward. “We have a really great group of players who contribute to the team,” she said. “I know we will continue to grow together as a team and keep up in the direction we have been working towards.”

Next up, FC Buffalo will put their unbeaten record on the line vs. a talented LANC Inferno side. Kickoff is set for 4 PM Eastern at Robert Rich Stadium in Buffalo, with tickets still available.

Carson A Merk

Reporting live from Sin City, I have covered both RGVFC and Las Vegas Lights FC since their inceptions. I also write profiles to highlight players from the NCAA to USL to NWSL and everywhere in between.