LUDLOW, MA- Saturday marks the end of the most successful season in club history for FC Buffalo, as Calgary Foothills advanced to the United Women’s Soccer final with a 4-1 win over FC Buffalo.
Foothills broke open the game late, scoring twice after FCB came up just shy of equalizing the match at 2-2. The Wolves finish with a 9-2-2 record which earned head coach Nikki Bartholomew and assistant Gabe Wilson the Penn-NY division crown and the East Conference Championship.
Sarah Kinzner opened the scoring for the Foothills, scoring on a low shot from just inside the box in the 27th minute. Calgary would double their lead just before the break with a Mya Jones goal on the counterattack.
FC Buffalo’s lone goal came when Carissima Cutrona drove by the Foothills defense and cut a ball toward goal that DJ Thiam tapped inside the goal in the 65th minute, beating Calgary keeper Sarah Dilling. The Foothills backstop had four saves in the match, one fewer than FCB and Canisius College goalie Jessica Jones.
Mya Jones would once again extend the Foothills’ lead to two in the 83rd minute before Grace Moore added a fourth goal in stoppage time with a terrific shot from distance.
The Blitzers would dictate play for extended periods of the opening half, generating several dangerous chances, but were unable to convert the pressure into goals.
Calgary’s opening goal came seemingly from nowhere, as the ball bouncing around in traffic found the foot of Kinzner. FC Buffalo’s best chance to level the score in the opening half came in the 42nd minute, when Ella Rudney was in on goal before being hauled down from behind inside the penalty area. No foul was called despite the protests of FC Buffalo players and staff, play would continue, leading to the second Calgary goal one minute later via the counterattack.
Even being down 2-0 at the half, the Blitzers would not quit. Jessica Jones stood tall in goal, making several acrobatic saves throughout the second half to keep the Eastern Conference Champion Blitzers within striking distance. Carissima Cutrona took a 65th minute pass from Danielle Vis down the left side of the field, attracting three defenders, before cutting back and putting a perfectly placed shot into the far corner of the goal hoping to kickstart a rally. The best chance to equalize and complete the comeback for the Blitzers would come in the 75th minute, with a direct golden opportunity on goal rolling just to the outside of the left goalpost.
Despite coming up short in the semi-final, the Blitzers posted a season for the history books. The nine wins amassed by the 2022 women’s team are the most in club history, while the two playoff wins that got the Blitzers to the national semi-final set the club record for most playoff wins in a single season. Team MVP Carissima Cutrona set multiple individual club records this season, setting new highs in appearances, minutes, goals, and assists. In addition to holding the team record for appearances in a single season, Cutrona is now also the club’s all-time leader in appearances amongst women’s players, with 25 over two seasons.
FC Buffalo has seen consistent success in the two seasons the club has been a member of UWS. Winning the division and advancing to at least the second round of the playoffs in both seasons as a member of the league, the Blitzers have established themselves as the premier club in the Penn-NY Division and one of the most dangerous sides in UWS.