London City Lionesses forward Kyra Carusa was completely unfazed when she made her first start for the Club.
The Republic of Ireland international simply laced her boots, took to the field at Princes Park, and propelled London City to a 3-1 win over Lewes with a dominant individual performance.
“It was obviously massive for me to have earned the opportunity to play from the start for the first time,” the San Diego-born striker explained at full-time. “I just know that when you start the first five minutes with a team, you can dictate the entire match.
“Even though a game is made up of little moments, you can change the whole match by setting the tone and acting like there are twelve players on the field from the beginning. I just really wanted those five minutes to set the tone for us, which we did as a team.”
Carusa’s impact versus the Rooks was immediate.
In minute six, the San Diego-born striker pressed the visitors into a penalty area mistake, which saw Sarah Ewens steal possession and fire the ball into the top corner.
“We talked about our press a lot, especially after we lost our bite a little bit last week,” explained Carusa. “I think [the opener] was the perfect example of us being ruthless and making a team pay. As soon as the ball went back to the goalkeeper, I just thought ‘okay, that’s my cue.’”
And she never looked back from there.
Carusa buzzed around Princes Park with confidence as the Lionesses the play and was rewarded for her efforts with a goal in the 38th minute.
“I know myself as a player,” explained the 27-year-old, “and the minute Sarah popped the ball to me, I knew that ball was going into the back of the net. You just manifest it – especially when it came to me on the top of the box on my right foot.”
Carusa played an important two-way role for the Lionesses in the second-half, briefly dropping into central midfield after the dismissal of Lily Agg.
“I’m really proud of the fact that we kept the mentality that we had in the first five minutes about our intention to win this game despite the adversity we faced in the second-half,” added the former Elitedivisonen MVP.
Next? Bristol City.
“I’d say we’re really ready for Bristol City. We’re ready to have them here, ready to keep this mentality, and do what we can do. I know there is a lot we can control, so I’m excited for it.”