Araujo, Bartholomew get big awards as five players honored by UWS

The honors keep coming in for FC Buffalo’s impressive first-year women’s side, as Kelsey Araujo was named UWS East Conference Offensive Player of the Year and head coach Nikki Bartholomew was awarded UWS East Conference Coach of the Year.

Araujo was also named to the UWS All-East Conference First Team along with team captain Carissima Cutrona, while defender Maya Palmer and forward Marcy Barberic were named to the Second Team and goalkeeper Emily Kelly was Honorable Mention.

  • Kelsey Araujo (ANB Futbol / Niagara University), who recently signed for Le Havre in France, scored 10 times to go with eight assists for FCB this summer, including braces in our first regular season game and first playoff game.
  • Carissima Cutrona (Williamsville South / University at Buffalo) played all but nine minutes of our inaugural women’s season and led FCB with nine assists while chipping in four goals.
  • Marcy Barberic (Grand Island / University at Buffalo) was FCB’s second-leading scorer with six goals and also produced two assists as part of a vicious front four with Araujo, Cutrona, and Danielle Vis.
  • Maya Palmer (Williamsville North / Canisius College) was a force at the back for FCB, playing 720 minutes between fullback and centerback and often forging forward as part of the attack.
  • Emily Kelly (Wilson / University at Buffalo) had a knack for making tricky saves look easy with great positioning, but also produced more than her fair share of improbable stops.

FC Buffalo is thrilled to congratulate coach Nikki Bartholomew and assistant coach Gabrielle Wilson after learning that United Women’s Soccer has awarded coach Bartholomew its East Conference Coach of the Year for the 2021 season.

Our coaching staff led an expansion FCB to the East Conference regular season title with seven wins, a draw, and two losses. The side then hosted the UWS East Conference Playoffs, winning its first playoff game before bowing out to eventual national finalist Connecticut Fusion in the final.

“Our club was thrilled, humbled, and inspired by the performance of our women’s team in its first season and is counting the days to next season. We look forward to watching and enabling our staff to defend the East Conference title and make another playoff push,” said FC Buffalo co-owner Nick Mendola.

“We not only want to congratulate our Nikki and Gabe but also our director of women’s soccer Liz Mantel and advisory board of Courtney Mann-Rinow, Kathleen DiPasquale, Carissima Cutrona (and Gabrielle Wilson!) for their identification process in making sure we had the best people in charge of bringing a first-year team together. These women taught us so much and it’s only year one.”