Huskies face Green Bay and Iowa State in exhibition matches this week.
2015 SEASON: Started both games at left back...picked up a yellow card against North Dakota (Aug. 23). 2014 SEASON: Played in 19 games for NIU as a true freshman, starting 15 total...played as a center back and right back for the Huskies, playing a huge role in helping the team concede just 11 goals in regular season conference play...tied for the team lead with three assists, including helpers in back-to-back games against Kent State (Oct. 3) and Ohio (Oct. 5).
HOFFMAN ESTATES HIGH SCHOOL: Four-time letter winner and two-time captain ... Team MVP in 2013 ... All-Conference and All-Area Honorable Mentions in 2013 ... Started every game since 2012.
PERSONAL/MISCELLANEOUS: Daughter to Esperanza and Waldo ... Intends to major in biology (pre-med)...Made honor roll every year in high school ... Won AP Scholar Award after 2013 spring semester ... Won Spirit of the Hawk Award after 2012 fall semester ... Volunteer at Community Crisis Center for Battered Women, Special Olympics, and Cupcakes for a Cause (Autism) ... Admires Andrea Pirlo because "he is a leader and plays so beautifully."
COACH ROSS ON PEÑA: "Natalia has a very high soccer IQ, great vision and is very technical. She has a unique ability to read defensive angles which allows her to time her tackles very well - all traits that will lead to a successful career at NIU."