WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.- With her senior season about to start, Carissima Cutrona already has a huge weight lifted off her shoulders. Her future is set at Colgate University where she'll play Division I women's soccer.
After the long two year recruiting process, Cutrona narrowed her choices down to about four. Among her top four were Colgate, West Virginia, Penn State and Syracuse. But in the end, it was Colgate that got her decision. "I'm really excited about Colgate, I committed at the end of May. It was a long process but as soon as I stepped on the campus at Colgate I knew that's where I wanted to go for the next four years," Cutrona said.
For Cutrona, Colgate was a no brainer. Every aspect of the college grabbed her attention and excitement. "I really like everything about Colgate from the minute I stepped on campus, the atmosphere, the distance away from home, the soccer program is up and coming, the coaches are great and the academics are also wonderful," Cutrona explained.
It's no surprise Carissima grew up playing soccer, it's a sport that runs in her family. Ever since she was little, she knew soccer would be her passion. 'Two of my older sisters played soccer and my mom would always drag me to the soccer games along with her and we would be watching them on the sidelines and I remember just watching them thinking it's such a cool sport I hope I get a chance to play it. Then I started playing when I was five in the Amherst House League then when I was older I got into the travel leagues and it just kind of went from there," Cutrona pointed out.
For the past four years, Carissima has played on the varsity squad at Williamsville South High School. Ever since she was in 8th grade, Carissima has made All Western New York Honors. Her first season on varsity, she made the All WNY second team. Then every season since, she made the All WNY first team. At the end of her junior season, she earned All American honors.
During her four seasons on varsity, she's scored at least 20 goals every season. Last year, she racked up 37 total, a team high. But her favorite kinds of goals are the ones that come when needed most. "I'm a player that loves the pressure filled situations. I thrive off of that pressure and I love that my teammates when a goal's need they can look at me and they can trust me to get the job done," Cutrona said.
Scoring in big time situations isn't always for everyone. It takes a certain type of player to take on that role, someone who can take charge of a game. But Carissima has had a lot of guidance to acquire these skills."I would say I've always been a leader but I've had great coaching and great leaders that came before me that have taught me pretty much everything I know so I owe a lot of that to them," Cutrona explained.
Possessing those leadership skills doesn't always come naturally. Carissima says it's something you have to work at every game. "I would say there's a lot of responsibility in it, it's kind of a mindset that you have to go in just wanting the ball and wanting that pressure on you and I thrive off of that," Cutrona said.
Even though her college is all picked out, Carissima still has goals for her senior season. The ultimate goal is for Williamsville South to win a New York State championship. She told Two On Your Side's Stu Boyar "I would say there's definitely some unfinished business. We want to be State Champion and we want to bring home the championship to Will South."