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Meet the Citrus Heights girl who’s tied for state touchdown record

Alyssa Lauriano stands during a Sept. 8, 2023, Citrus Bowl game. // M. Hazlip

By Sara Beth Williams–
High school senior Alyssa Lauriano of the Mesa Verde Mavericks scored two touchdowns in the “Citrus Bowl” on Friday, Sept. 8, an annual intra-city matchup against San Juan High School, tying her with a 2022 record held by Bella Rasmussen from Laguna Beach High School.

Rasmussen was the first female football player in California to score two touchdowns in a single varsity football game, according to an Oct. 21, 2022 article by People Magazine.

Seventeen-year-old Lauriano grew up in Citrus Heights and is a second-degree blackbelt according to her mother, Tina Lauriano. In an interview with the Sentinel, Lauriano said she has eight years of Taekwondo experience and added that she’s played volleyball “for years,” including during her freshman year in high school. Lauriano is the youngest of three siblings and said her sisters were also involved in sports.

“We’ve always had all girls, and we never thought we’d be going to football games,” Lauriano’s mom said, adding that the family was “surprised” when she first wanted to play football. Lauriano said the whole family regularly attends every one of her games.

This is Lauriano’s third year playing tackle football and only her first year with the Mesa Verde Mavericks. Previously, she played for San Juan High School during her sophomore and junior year. Mesa Verde High School Head Varsity Football Coach Leonard Casillas confirmed that Lauriano plays second string tight end and linebacker positions, and that she was moved to the running back position for the Sept. 8 game.

Lauriano’s first touchdown in the Citrus Bowl’s opening quarter brought the Mavericks up 14 to 0 against San Juan, and her second score along with the extra point extended the Mavericks’ lead from 28 to 35 in the second quarter.

Not only did Lauriano score two touchdowns in the game, Lauriano also sacked the Spartan’s quarterback, forcing a San Juan fumble, which Mesa Verde then recovered and ran back for another touchdown, according to live videos posted by the Lauriano family on social media.

The Mavericks took home the “Citrus Bowl” title, winning 82 to 7. Lauriano called the win over San Juan “exciting” and added that the Mesa Verde coaching staff are “really nice and good coaches.”

“She is a great young lady. She’s the toughest young lady I’ve coached,” Casillas said in an interview with The Sentinel.

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