BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Starting this summer, there will be professional women’s soccer in the Queen City! FC Buffalo announced on Tuesday that it has accepted an invitation to join United Women’s Soccer and create the first women’s team in club history.
The UWS is a national pro-am league composed of professionally operated clubs throughout the United States and Canada.
“We’re so excited to complete the FC Buffalo family with FC Buffalo Women joining the UWS,” FC Buffalo Director of Women’s Soccer Liz Mantel said. “To be able to bring a higher level of women’s soccer back to WNY only makes sense with the wealth of talent we have in the area. The passion our players and staff bring will only help our club to continue our initiative to foster an always-growing environment for community and soccer.”
FC Buffalo says it was contacted last year about bringing a UWS team to Buffalo, and since then, created a women’s soccer advisory board consisting of four former women’s soccer players who all played college in Western New York.
Courtney Mann Rinow was a captain of the UB Bulls and earned First Team All-MAC in 2014 when she led the Bulls to the NCAA Tournament. Gabrielle Wilson played at Niagara University where she still ranks in saves, shutouts and minutes in a season, and now serves as an assistant coach at Canisius. Kathleen DiPasquale lettered all four years and was named All-MAAC at Canisius, and also was three-time All New York State while at Williamsville North in high school. Carrissima Cutrona was a two-time All-American while at Williamsville South, and was a two-time All-MAC while playing for the UB Bulls.
The advisory board released this statement: “We’ve grown up playing locally and were able to continue our playing careers into college, but for the most part that is where our progression in the women’s game came to an end. Whether it was in-between seasons or after graduation, there weren’t any options to play competitively or even see a high-level game unless we wanted to leave town. That is until now.
“We’re beyond excited to see this idea come to life and we look forward to creating a new space for both players and devoted fans of the game to pursue their passions. It’s been a long time coming, but this summer Buffalo is getting a new team to rally behind; Mama’s got a brand new bag.”
FC Buffalo will be Western New York’s first UWS team since WNY Flash, who won four different league titles from 2010-26, but played its final season in 2017.