Alyssa Giannetti Signs With Norwegian Club for 2016 Season
Effective goalkeepers rule the pitch with their ability to anticipate the development of the game to help guide their team to victory. Orange County native Alyssa Giannetti will continue her successful career in the net playing in Norway’s top flight for the upcoming 2016 season.
Soccer News From Cal Poly SLO: Cal Poly graduating goalkeeper Alyssa Giannetti has signed a professional contract for 2016 with Norwegian club Arna-Bjørnar of Toppserien, the country’s premier soccer league.
Arna-Bjørnar, led by head coach Morten Røssland — along with goalkeeper trainer Havard Smedegaard — will hold week-long training camps in Barcelona and La Manga, Spain before opening division play at Sandviken on March 28.
Located in a borough of Bergen, a city of nearly 300,000 people along Norway’s southwest coast, Arna-Bjørnar earned three consecutive third-place finishes in the 12-team table from 2012 through 2014.
In 2015, they were seventh in the association, with 26 points from a 7-5-10 record. Lillestrøm SK tallied 56 on an 18-2-2 season culminating with a second straight championship.
Arna-Bjørnar, which plays at Arna Idrettspark, recently lost former LSU keeper Megan Kinneman, who retired in late January to coach. Benedicte Håland and Sandra Stavenes are the other goalkeepers on the roster.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity,” Mustang head coach Alex Crozier said. “I think she’s going to do very well there. It’s a lot of work to go overseas, learn a foreign language and deal with a new environment, but if anyone is up to that, she is. I’m looking forward to watching her progress.”
Josh Hodges, Director of Coaching of Legends FC said, “A great leader with a wonderful command of the field, Giannetti is certainly one of the best goalkeepers to come through our Legends program. A part of our Legends GU ’93 team that won three National Cups, she has a strong work rate and deep passion for the game. On top of being a well rounded keeper, her distribution was excellent and she could practically drop kick the ball from goal to goal,” said Hodges.
“Everyone here at Cal Poly, from my coaches to the trainers and conditioning coaches, has been incredibly supportive,” Giannetti said, “and I wouldn’t have this opportunity without all of them, so I’m really thankful for that.”
“We always knew Giannetti had the potential to play at the professional level,” said Hodges who coached her as a youth player.
As a senior, Giannetti was an all-tournament selection at the Nike Soccer Classic after making 13 saves while holding No. 2-ranked Virginia to two goals for only the second time in 18 regular-season matchups outside of ACC play.
While starting a school-record 76 times (playing 7,029 minutes, the NCAA’s ninth-most since 2012), she also became the first Cal Poly goalkeeper to assist on a goal in 10 years.
Giannetti, a Mustang co-captain for each of the past two seasons, was also named the Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week for a second time in 2015 after six more saves — part of her career program-record total of 380 — during a shutout against No. 13 Cal on Sept. 20.
Source: Cal Poly Mustangs Athletics. Photo Credit: Cal Poly Mustangs Athletics