Marissa Birzon was one of the best players to every step foot on the pitch in Western New York. She dominated the opposition during her time with Williamsville East High School. She was so dominated to now plays at The Ohio State University - and is contributing as a freshman.
Everyone knows at some point Birzon was going to graduate and move on. That’s the tough thing about growing up - moving on. The Flames also knew that someone was going to have to step up and take her spot.
Williamsville East returned a lot from last year’s team, but it was a freshman that has stolen the show. Bella Buscaglia has been the revaluation for the Flames this year. She was tied in goals (18), assists (8) and points (44) with Division I commit senior Tess Ford.
“I expected it to be difficult but I was determined to find my place on this team and work to the best of my ability,” stated Buscaglia. “I knew I had the speed and skills to play at the varsity level. I knew I had teammates I could depend on and off the field. I am lucky that my teammates and I have such good chemistry on the field.”
The 5-foot-5 dynamo is just that. She is explosive off the ground and beat any defender to the ball. When she gets the ball, she knows exactly where to place it. Keepers don’t have a chance against her.
Her eight assist shows that she is unselfish with the ball. She will draw the extra mark and then have the vision to pass if off to the right person. She reminds you of another 5-foot-5 dynamo is Sebastian Giovinco.
The Atomic Ant can make anything happen on the field. It seems he can score at win and found the right teammate when he needs to. His game is explosive from the time he steps on the field. You can say the same thing about Buscaglia. When she steps on the pitch - watch out.
She is the next in a long-line of forwards to have a bright future playing for Chris Durr and the Williamsville East program.
“I enjoy playing with Williamsville East. Coach Durr is great to play for and the girls are all nice. As a team we all work hard and work to the best of our ability. We communicate well on the field,” stated Buscaglia. “We look for passes to make the best scoring opportunities. Our defense is really strong. With one of our captains Tess leading the team in the midfield. Mikayla who helps out on the offense makes many opportunities to score and we work great together. And we have another captain Chloe who leads our defense. They all set a great example for me and set a great example for the team.”
Having role models like the ones she mentioned do help her game a lot. So does playing for one of the premier soccer teams in Western New York. Like many young ladies, Buscaglia applies her trade with the Western New York Flash.
The Flash knows a few things about getting the best of their players. They have seen some of the best WNY soccer players come through the doors throughout the years - including Birzon and others.
“I feel playing club soccer has helped me become a better soccer player. We train all year round which helps to keep our skills fresh. My tactical game has improved. My overall play on the field has gotten better,” she said. “I like playing with teammates who push you to be better every practice. I have made some awesome friends. The coaching is is amazing and they are always making practices worthwhile, trying to teach us to become the best soccer player we can be. I play for WNY Flash and I feel it is the best fit for me.”
If the Flash don’t push her, her brother will. Buscaglia isn’ the only soccer player in the house. Her older brother, Trey, also plays - and plays for the Williamsville East boys’ team. You could say like most siblings there is just a little bit of a rivalry.
Sure they are happy for each other for doing well - and helping their teams get to where they need to be. But, they also watch each other and see how they are doing. Since they both play the same position on the field, seeing who has the most goals in the family is a hot topic.
“My brother has taught me to love the game of soccer. We are both very competitive and compete to try to score the most goals during games and during the season. It keeps things interesting at home. He is a great role model for me on the field,” stated Buscaglia. “I think my brother is an amazing soccer player. He is fast, and strong on the field, He can read the field well and direct the play of the game. Although, I have two more goals then he does right now.”