Nevada’s Zona Kinnaman is giving the title of ‘Soccer Mom’ a new meaning

Published: Oct. 27, 2023 at 8:04 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Being a student-athlete is challenging, especially for one Nevada athlete who is also a mother. Zona Kinnaman, a center back, shares her experience at the University of Nevada, Reno.

“Nevada was the school that supported me as a mom and a student-athlete. It’s been amazing, and everyone has been supportive, even of my daughter Zella. I couldn’t imagine ending my soccer career any other way,” Kinnaman said.

Previously, Kinnaman spent two seasons at Campbell University in North Carolina, playing 18 matches and making 14 starts. Her journey took an unexpected turn when she found out she was pregnant during her collegiate soccer career.

“It was a shock. I discovered I was three months pregnant after preseason training. I initially thought I had Covid, but I had to stop playing because it wasn’t safe for the child. I didn’t know where soccer would take me after that. It all came to a sudden stop for me.”

Despite the uncertainty, Kinnaman persevered. “I had this longing to finish what I started. I wanted my senior night, to show my parents I completed my journey. Having my daughter made me stronger; I used her routines to work out.”

Kinnaman’s determination led her to master organization and time management, challenges faced by many mothers. She proves that motherhood isn’t a barrier to pursuing passion and excelling in sports.

Looking ahead, Kinnaman plans to enroll her daughter in various sports. “I want to be the mom who’s always there for her sporting events. In my heart, I hope she becomes a Division I athlete and carries on the legacy.”

Zona aims to become a health and wellness coach, with plans to open a wellness center helping those dealing with postpartum depression and other mental and physical health needs.