Mulholland commends ‘supportive’ FCB coaches, teammates ahead of FC Berlin rematch

Photos courtesy of @brettballachino and Ryan Bartholomew

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Hopeful of playoff qualification, FC Buffalo women’s team is happy for Thursday’s 2-0 win at Flower City, the positive end of a two-game away stretch following last Saturday’s 3-1 away victory over derby rivals Erie Commodores.

The blue and gold’s visit to Rochester Community Sports Complex Stadium saw a scoreless first half and a pair of breakaways from Flower City’s dangerous forwards.

FCB goalkeeper Brigid Mulholland protected her net long enough for teammate Grace Kulniszewski to scored her first FCB goal in the 65th minute and then was happy for the insurance provided by Kasia Bak in the 83rd minute. 

Three minutes before Kulniszewski’s opener, Flower City’s Emma Herrmann had a chance to give her team the lead one-on-one with Mulholland. The Rochester-area goalkeeper rushed out and troubled Herrmann’s shot, pulling off her fourth save of the game en route to being named The Martin Group’s Women of the Game. 

[ RELATED: Mulholland backstops FCB women to a win at Flower City]

“It was very special and meant a lot to get the Women of the Game,” Mulholland said. “Still, everyone on the team did their part because that was a big win for us. We needed to keep doing well in the league.”

Wednesday’s homecoming match was memorable for the Fairport goalkeeper for reasons beyond the big saves.

“I love playing with all my teammates, but this game was more special because I played against some of my old teammates [from high school],” Mulholland said. “It was just a cool moment for me to play in my hometown and a lot of my family was there, so it was nice to play in front of them.” 

When asked about the keys to pulling off these game-winning saves and rushing out to prevent dangerous breakaways, Mulholland believes composure and calmness establish her goalkeeping abilities. 

“It’s just about keeping composure so you have to be ready for any moment,” Mulholland said. “Staying calm and just knowing and being aware of anything that could happen is the main thing that I prepare for to make sure that I can make the saves to the best of my ability.”

In her second season with the Wolves, Mulholland has made four appearances, equaling last season’s total. It’s all come from the guidance of her goalkeeping coaches, Gabe Wilson and John Netter, as well as relationships with three of FCB’s other talented goalkeepers: Agnes Stenlund, Shea Vanderbosch, and Sydney Mulka.

“Well, it’s definitely awesome to be able to train with the three other keepers since they all push me to be at my best,” Mulholland said. “When I train with them, I am able to watch them, and we learn from each other. It’s always nice to train with someone else and not on your own. I’ve just really enjoyed this season so far. The community, team, and coaches create a great environment, and I love playing for them.”

“Gabe [Wilson] has been very supportive. She is at every practice, and I love working with her. She gives great advice on how we can do better, and she can always give feedback. She helps me learn the game better and see how I can improve myself [being confident and her communication]. She drills into me [some little techniques] that help me remember and stay calm during certain game points.” 

Alongside the support from her teammates and coaches, Mulholland’s hard work over the summer and in her first year at Loyola University Maryland gave a lending hand to her 2024 success as well. 

“I have always focused on my conditioning, and I had my first year of college this year, which was a different level of play from high school,” said Mulholland. “That prepared me for the next level that FC Buffalo is and the faster speed of play. It allowed me to prepare better this year than last year.” 

On Saturday’s doubleheader at Robert Rich All-High Stadium, the men play against Kings Hammer FC for a 3:30 pm kickoff, while Bartholomew’s squad takes on Canada-based FC Berlin later at 7 pm.

Despite their rough start to the season, Berlin, led by Greg Margolis, will still present challenges for the blue and gold. A prepared Mulholland and Wolves team views this home game as another essential match to finish their 2024 UWS season strong enough to get a favorable playoff spot. 

“It’s definitely a big game for us; we want to finish the season strong and keep our winning streak going. Our coaching staff has done a good job in preparing for these games. If we trust in the coaches and our training, we can do the job.”

[ RELATED: 2024 Women’s Stats ]

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