Mariel Gutierrez graduated from UNC in December 2018, earning her Business Finance degree in three-and-a-half years while stacking up points on the pitch and trophies on her award shelf. She earned the title Colorado Sportswoman of the Year for College Soccer for her senior season (basketball’s Savannah Smith was also a 2018 UNC honoree). She’s currently focused on training for a break into professional soccer, in the U.S. or abroad. In the meantime, here are a few other things to know about the star striker.
Her recent awards
- Colorado Sportswoman of the Year
- Big Sky Conference Offensive MVP
- Big Sky First Team All-Conference
- Big Sky Golden Boot Award (for the player with the most points scored; Gutierrez had 25)
- 36 goals during her college career
- 25 points her senior season (a goal is two points; an assist is one)
- 47.3 percent made shots on goal her senior season
- 7,327 minutes of regular-season play
- 85 regular-season games started (100 percent)
Gutierrez stood out academically, carrying on a tradition of UNC athletes excelling in both school and sports. She is the first UNC soccer player to earn a Scholar All-American nod, a national Division I honor, two years in a row. “It’s the perfect size,” she says of UNC. “You get to know your professors. They know who you are and they help you out.” Gutierrez says she could go to her classmates, professors and staff members to talk about soccer, school, jobs or whatever she needed help with it.
Sports have always been a central part of Gutierrez’ life. In high school in Gypsum, Colo., she was a four-year letter-winner in both soccer and basketball. When it came to choosing a major, though, she chose to major in Business Finance at UNC because of an interest in numbers and the stock market. Business also runs in her family: Her parents and aunt each run businesses, and one of her two older sisters works for a bank. Gutierrez appreciates the flexibility and possibilities a Finance degree offers. “You can do anything with it,” she says. “You can work for a corporation, or you can start your own business.” Adding to her lineup of marketable skills is Spanish language proficiency; she was born in Mexico, and her family moved to Colorado when she was a baby. Before she takes on the business world, though, she’s focusing on the cornerstones of her life: soccer and family.