When I was young, my mom wanted to get me involved in some kind of activity. We tried gymnastics. That definitely wasn’t for me, as I wasn’t a huge fan of the leotards and the kart wheels just didn’t come naturally to me. We tried dance. Absolutely not. I barely made it through one show. They made me use hair spray and point my toes. We moved on to karate, which I liked at first and then got bored. Then we found soccer, and that seemed to stick.
It all started on a sunny afternoon at the Nike Base in Hamburg, New York. I was six years old and had previously started playing soccer as a forward. I could’ve sworn I was going to be the next Mia Hamm, but suddenly things took a turn. On that sunny afternoon, our goalkeeper broke her finger on a corner kick and we had no one to go in goal. My coach, Gary Mann (father of teammate and REVS player, Courtney Mann), asked for a volunteer to go in goal. I raised my hand. Mr. Mann went to go get me a pair of goalkeeper gloves and a jersey but before he left, I went in my soccer bag and pulled out a jersey and gloves of my own. My dad had been an ice hockey goalie and had secretly hoped I’d take after him and try goalkeeper in soccer. Needless to say, I went in goal and loved it. The rest is history.
I began going to goalkeeper training and got involved in Buffalo Niagara, Buffalo United, the Buffalo Flash, the Niagara Falls (Canada) Fury, NY West ODP, and the Empire State Games, where my team and I went on to win a gold medal in 2010. My family and I spent hours in the car driving to training, games, and tournaments all over the country, but it was worth it! Throughout my soccer career, I have been blessed with the support of my family and friends along with great coaching and sharing this experience with incredible teammates. Beyond great training, soccer has taught me some valuable lessons. I learned the importance of determination and a strong work ethic. I've learned about leadership, teamwork, humility, and competitiveness. I learned to follow my dreams despite what other people say. Some people claimed I was too short to be a goalkeeper, but I was taught to never give up and to work hard towards accomplishing my goals.
I played high school soccer at Nardin Academy, where I was named First Team All-Catholic, All Western New York, and All New York State. In my senior year, I set a new Western New York shutout record and received the league MVP award. I was recruited by a number of schools and chose to play at Cornell University. I am a rising senior and the starting goalkeeper at Cornell and have received the Randy May Coach’s Award twice in my first three years and served as a junior captain this past season. I lead the Ivy League in total saves in a season with 88, putting me 11th in Cornell program history for saves in a single season.
Last summer, I played for the Rochester Ravens, a semi pro W-League team out of Rochester, New York. Finally, this summer I am playing for the Empire Revs. We just had our first game last Saturday against United FC Binghamton. It was an exciting game and we won 2 to 1, thanks to goals by Karly Tolentino and Dani Harner. It was a great team effort and a sign of the bright future of this team.
I encourage each and every one of you to come out to our games and cheer on your Revs! Come out and catch our next game against 4 PM on Saturday, June 8th vs Tri-City!