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Gonzalez, Zuniga to Play for El Salvador National Team

Apr 6, 2021

BOULDER – Colorado sophomore Amaya Gonzalez and former Buffaloes forward Stephanie Zuniga were called up to the El Salvador National Team for the country's upcoming friendly matches against Nicaragua.

"This is such an exciting opportunity for Amaya and Stephanie," head coach Danny Sanchez exclaimed. "We are very proud that they have earned this call up. It is fantastic that El Salvador reached out to them for these international matches. Not many players get to play at the international level for a full national team and I know Amaya and Stephanie will represent El Salvador well."

The call-up is the first to the full National Team for both players. They will play two matches in this FIFA I, the first will be this Thursday, April 8, and the second on Sunday, April 11.

"I'm grateful for this [opportunity]," Gonzalez said. "This is really exciting. I played for the U20 Women's National Team and now to be on the full team is exciting. My family was born there [El Salvador] and I was one of the first from my family to be born in the U.S. It's really nice to represent that side of my family."

Gonzalez, a midfielder from Bellflower, Calif, has played in 12 matches for the Buffs this season. She made her first appearance in the starting XI this season at Washington (Feb. 28) and has earned four starts throughout the year. Gonzalez played a season high-68 minutes at Oregon State last Friday and has totaled 418 minutes this season.

As a freshman, Gonzalez played in 11 of CU's 22 matches, picking up her first career assist in CU's 6-0 win over Northern Colorado in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  

Zuniga, a 2019 CU graduate, is in her first professional season with Cruzeiro in the Brazilian Women's League. The Pinole, Calif., native totaled 22 points (5 G, 12 A) during her CU career. Zuniga played four seasons for the Buffs but spent five years in the program. She sat out the 2017 season, recovering from a knee injury.

"My parents are from El Salvador and it means a lot to them," Zuniga told El Grafico. "I am grateful for this opportunity and I will do everything I can to help the team reach the level that has to be. I can't wait to get there and start working."

The Buffaloes will be back in action at Prentup Field this weekend. CU hosts Arizona on Friday (2:30 p.m. MT) and Arizona State (1 p.m. MT) on Sunday.