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Another Year at the U

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – With NCAA Regionals originally expected to tee off within a week, prior to the start of the 2019-20 campaign Miami senior golfer Macarena Aguilera would have anticipated making one final run with her teammates on the big stage.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic spreading across the world, these goals were placed on hold, with a sense of uncertainty about what her next steps would be.

Following a decision last month by the NCAA announcing that spring student-athletes could have an extra year of eligibility, a new window of opportunities and possibilities opened up for student-athletes across the nation.

For the Buenos Aires, Argentina, native, the opportunity to have that one final run alongside her teammates was something she could not pass up.

“I love being a part of the University of Miami because it is an amazing environment; it lets you show your true potential and you can learn from the best,” Aguilera said. “I love being a part of the golf team, they are like my family. They help me and support me every day. They are always there and challenge me every single day on and off the golf course to be my best self.

I am so blessed [to] get the opportunity to share another year with them and I would like to thank the NCAA, the school and everybody who made this possible"

Macarena Aguilera

Over the course of her first three seasons, Aguilera captured a trio of top-10 finishes and registered a 75.44 scoring average through 80 rounds of competition.

However, due to an injury that took place prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, Aguilera spent the fall campaign rehabbing and continuing to work on her technique. So, the opportunity to return for a fifth season and have extra time to get back to full strength was an important decision for her.

“It touches me in a more sensitive way,” Aguilera said. “I got surgery last May and it took me longer than expected to fully recover, mentally and physically. So, I am just really grateful that I get to show, with this extra year, my full potential and what I have been working on.”

Wrapping up his 10th season as Miami’s assistant head golf coach, John Koskinen is excited to have one more year to coach Aguilera.

“Maca brings such good energy and has been such a pleasure to have on the team,” Koskinen said. “She was starting to play better at the end of this year, so I think it will be great to have her get one more shot at proving herself against the other team members.

“I hope she can stay injury free and end her career on a high note,” Koskinen continued. “Maca has contributed in many ways over the last four years. I expect her to use her experience to gain an edge on the others.”

As a team, Miami ranked as high as No. 26 in the golfstat.com rankings this past season, while capturing a quartet of top-five finishes. Aguilera is set to return alongside teammates, junior Kristyna Frydlova, sophomore Anna Backman, freshmen Daniella BarrettMorgan Pankow and Franziska Sliper. The Hurricanes will also welcome Sara Byrne for the fall semester and Nataliya Guseva in the spring.

“I’m excited to see what we can do next year,” Koskinen said. “We were really good this past year. Now we get to have a second chance at it, but also add two more great players to the depth of our team.  I think we have the ability to do amazing things next season. I’m just glad I will have a front row seat for it.”