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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Athlete of the Week: Renae Cuellar

    Editor’s note: The Arizona Daily Wildcat’s Bobby Stover caught up with UA soccer freshman Renae Cuellar after she scored the Wildcats’ first goal in both of Arizona’s games over the weekend and currently leads the team in goals scored with three. Cuellar discussed her ambitions in sports and academics, kickboxing and who she would play in a one-on-one matchup.

    Wildcat: You scored two goals this weekend and now you’re the leading scorer on the team. How didyou get off to such a fast start?
    Cuellar: I have always played at the highest level since I was young and for me, it just comes naturally because I worked very, very hard both on and off the field toward soccer. But I’m very excited about it, and I always give it my best and put all my heart into every game. I think if you put in the work, everything just comes along with that.

    W: Do you have a favorite goal out of the three you have this season?
    C: I got a great shot off (against Texas) and this was definitely a big goal for me because of who we were playing. I was looking (to attend Texas) while I was looking at Arizona as well, so it was a big thing for me (to score against the Longhorns).

    W: You said prior to coming to Arizona that you wanted to break every scoring record the team had. Now that you’re on your way, is it becoming more of a reality to you?
    C: Yeah, I think any goal I have is always within my reach. But especially for being the highest scoring player at U of A – I’m also shooting for being the highest scorer in the Pac-10 – it’s all within my reach. When I play well it just gives me confidence, but the more important thing is my team winning, which of course is a good thing for me as well.

    W: Any other goals you have for your soccer career?
    C: While I’m here at Arizona I want to continue to compete for the U.S. National Team or the Mexican National Team. I definitely want to lead my team to the Pac-10 Championship and the NCAA (Tournament) and hopefully the Final Four. We have a good team and I know we can do it, so my goals are first for the team and making sure we do a great job together. Then comes being the leading scorer of the team and the conference and things like that.

    W: You’re also a pretty good student as well. What are some goals you have academically?
    C: I hope to at least get a 3.3 or 3.5 (GPA). I’m taking quite a few units this semester so it should be tough, but academics are a pretty big part of my life as well.

    W: You’re majoring in biology. Any idea what you’d want to do with that after you graduate?
    C: If I don’t play soccer after I graduate, I want to be a sports medicine doctor or a physical therapist. I also want to get into college coaching and maybe work my way to becoming a head coach at a major program.

    W: What’s your favorite activity other than playing soccer?
    C: I do kickboxing and boxing as well.

    W: Really? When did you start doing that?
    C: I was a competitive boxer and kick-boxer this last year at a gym in my area. I had one fight and I won, it was pretty nice (laughs). I’m not a big fighter or anything, I just wanted to try it and see if I could do it and I could, so it was fun.

    W: Being a freshman, have the veterans given you any nicknames?
    C: Yeah, I’m called Nae-Nae because of the last part of my first name. So I’m either called Nae-Nae or just Nae.

    W: If you could go anywhere in the world, where do you think you’d go?
    C: I’d have to say Italy. I’ve been there, but I want to go back again. I thought it was the best thing I’ve ever seen.

    W: Last question. If you could play a one-on-one soccer game against anyone in history, who would it be?
    C: Anyone? Man or woman?

    W: Anyone.
    C: I’d have to say Ronaldinho.

    W: Think you could take him?
    C: Oh, of course (laughs). No, I mean even if he beat me I could say, “”Yeah, I played him and he beat me.”” Either way it would be pretty neat.

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