Aviles to Vie for Spot on Puerto Rico Women’s National Team
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – An Aggie at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup? It could happen.
Monday morning, NM State defender Lece Aviles, who wrapped up her final season in Aggie colors in the fall of 2021, accepted an invitation to the Puerto Rico Football Federation’s team camp. Aviles will be competing for a spot on the Puerto Rico Women’s National Team from Wednesday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 13 at Albergue Olimpico in Salinas, Puerto Rico.
“We cannot even begin to explain how proud we are of Lece,” commented NM State head coach Rob Baarts. “She has come so far in her four years here at NM State! Transitioning from forward to center-back after her freshman campaign allowed her to reinvent herself and she has been a team leader every year since. I am excited to see her compete at the national team level. Do us proud Lece.”
If selected for the competition stage, Aviles would continue to compete until Saturday, Feb. 19. The journey to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup would be a lengthy one, though. Australia and New Zealand are set to co-host the ninth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, and Puerto Rico is seeking its first trip to the nationally-recognized event.
Puerto Rico competes in the CONCACAF and is one of 41 member associations – other of which include the United States, Canada and Mexico – who seek to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
A four-year letterwinner for NM State, Aviles concluded her collegiate career this past fall. An All-WAC Honorable Mention in the Aggies’ spring 2021 season, Aviles was the leader of the team’s back line and appeared in 68 games through the course of her time at NM State.
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