Eastern Kentucky University soccer goalie Zoe Aguirre will once again play in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup as a member of the Mexican National Team.
Aguirre said it is an honor to represent her country again on the national soccer stage.
“I feel blessed and very happy to be able to represent Mexico again,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre and the Mexican team earned a berth in the global finals by finishing second to the USA at the CONCACAF (The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) U-20 Women’s Championship in early March.
Aguirre said that playing with the national team gives her a chance to learn something new and that helps her grow as a player.
Aguirre started in goal in Mexico’s 3-0 shutout over Guyana in the group stage and the 12-1 victory over Grenada in the knockout stage.
Mexico edged Haiti in a penalty shootout in the semifinals to punch their ticket to the World Cup. It is their eighth straight trip to the U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Aguirre was a member of the Mexican National Team that played at the U-20 World Cup two summers ago in France.
“The first time I got to play with them I couldn't believe that I was actually there,” Aguirre said. “It’s a very exciting feeling and you realize that everything that I’ve done up to this moment has finally paid off and it’s just an unreal feeling.”
The U-20 World Cup was set to take place in August in Costa Rica and Panama, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic FIFIA has announced that it will be suspended.
“They suspended the World Cup for right now, but I believe they are moving it to November,” Aguirre said. “But we’re still waiting to see.”
Aguirre will have to balance her school work, EKU soccer and the Mexican National Team soccer this fall, but she said she is ready to put in hard work.
“It’s going to be tough,” Aguirre said. “Just coming back from the qualifiers I had to miss six weeks of school so that definitely was a struggle, but my coach told me to focus on what you’re in control of and that was being in Mexico and getting my stuff done online for school. It was definitely hard, but I feel like I’m capable of getting it done because I’ve done it before.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Aguirre is staying in shape and training anyway she can so she will be ready for the U-20 World Cup and EKU soccer this fall.
Aguirre said EKU soccer gave her a packet of workouts she has to complete while away from school. The Mexican National Team has also been in contact with her to make sure she has been working out and staying in shape.
The native of Corona, California was a member of the Ohio Valley Conference All-Newcomer Team and OVC All-Tournament Team as a freshman in 2018. She started 10 games for EKU this past fall, recording three shutouts.
Aguirre said she has her eyes set on playing soccer after she graduates and moving up to the next level.