Gianna Tuzzolino excited to bring ‘good momentum’ into home opener vs Erie

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The FC Buffalo women’s team’s last outing was a tough one, as wasted chances led to a long drive home following a 2-1 loss to Steel City at Founders Field in Cheswick, Pennsylvania.

FCB didn’t have much going their way in PA. Coach Nikki Bartholomew was without a few players including understated centerback Tess Ford and forward Sylar Cornell, both vital in FCB’s season-opening 4-1 win at FC Berlin. FCB’s defense conceded two goals in around four minutes and the attack just couldn’t capitalize on its chances. 

There were certainly some positives to take from that match, including a first UWS and FCB goal for 18-year-old Gianna Tuzzolino

The midfielder is one of the 12 new summer signings for the club, and Tuzzolino shined off the bench on Saturday.

[ RELATED: FC Buffalo women begin 2024 UWS season away to FC Berlin ]

The 5-foot-10 WNY Flash Academy graduate scored her first goal for the blue-and-gold in the 55th minute. She also impressed in showcasing her versatility out of the midfield. 

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Tuzzulino said of her first few weeks with her new club. “Coming from Flash and having a good environment there, then just bringing it over here while also committing to college — I am just really looking forward to the future and what it’s going to be.”

Tuzzolino begins her college career at the University of Kentucky this fall, so she’s getting an early experience in adapting to a new environment prior to SEC soccer. Adapting can present challenges, but Tuzzolino says her FCB teammates have helped Gianna quickly adjust to the blue and gold. 

“They have been super helpful just communicating with me and helping me out when I have any questions about where the field is when they get there,” Gianna said as she also preached about her teammates’ inspiring work ethic. “Watching them play too is just a big thing for me. Being around people who have been playing for longer has been really good for me.” 

The Wolves make their long-awaited debut at Robert Rich All-High Stadium as they face Erie Commodores for a 7pm Saturday kickoff. Tuzzolino can’t wait to play in front of her new home fans as well as her family. 

“I am super excited — It’s our first home game and it should be a good game,” said Gianna after Thursday evening’s practice session. “Being able to represent FC Buffalo at home and having all my family and the home fans there should be something.”

For the Wolves to beat derby rivals Erie, Bartholomew’s squad will need the East Amherst midfielder to rise to the occasion. 

“That goal is a full circle moment for me. Just being able to be on the field has been fun, and I am thinking that this goal is a little bit of a confidence booster,” Gianna said. “I have some good momentum, so hopefully, I can keep it going.”

[ RELATED: FC Buffalo women drop first UWS match at Steel City]

Single-game tickets are available here, while for a limited time, you can get a season ticket to all men’s and women’s regular season games for just $60.