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Women's Recruiting Jul 26, 2023

SLSG ECNL defender Zoe Cuneio graduates high school early to play for Purdue

By Charlie Healy

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue soccer coach Drew Roff has announced that Zoe Cuneio has committed to the program and will join the team for the 2023 season.

Cuneio, who had originally verbally committed to Purdue to be a member of the 2024 signing class, will join the Boilermakers a season early after she graduated from high school in three years.

Ranked No. 8 nationally among defenders and 37th overall in her class by Top Drawer Soccer, Cuneio is from Wildwood, Missouri. She is a four-star recruit by TDS and No. 2 in the Heartland region.

“Zoe is a special player who comes from an excellent soccer environment and a very supportive family,” Roff said. “She has all the characteristics of a top flight modern-day center back. She is physically strong, reads the game well and is very comfortable bringing the ball out and connecting passes through the lines. I have no doubts that Zoe is ready for the next step in her career, and we are very excited to have her join us this season.”

“The atmosphere and culture at Purdue is something special,” Cuneio said. “The coaches, the staff members and the players make it feel like a place where I belong. Purdue is the place I believe can help me accomplish my dreams and more. I am excited and ready to see what the future holds!”

Cuneio played club soccer for ECNL’s St. Louis Scott Gallagher Navy. Under the tutelage of coach Ralph Richards, Cuneio was named the U16 Midwest Player of Year and an All-American in 2021, and she collected First Team Midwest All-Conference accolades in 2021 and 2022. While this summer’s individual accolades have not been announced, Cuneio recently helped her team to the U18/U19 playoffs and a Midwest conference championship. She also was a team captain for SLSG.

At Eureka High, Cuneio played one season, in 2023, and was named the Class 4 Region 2 defender of the year and earned all-state accolades while playing for coach Gary Schneider. Additionally, she played basketball and helped lead Eureka to the state final four in 2022-23.

Cuneio was invited to the 2021 U.S. U17 Women’s National Team virtual camp, the 2021 U.S. Youth National Team regional ID camp and the 2020 U.S. U15 training camp. She also was selected to the Kansas City Current’s reserve team training in 2022.

Academically, Cuneio was recognized with Eureka High’s Gold Standard Award in 2023.

Cuneio plans to major in finance at Purdue, and she aspires to become a coach and pursue a career in finance following her playing career. Her parents are Amy and Doug, and she has one sister, Mia. Cuneio’s father, Doug, played NAIA basketball at Culver Stockton.

One of nine newcomers on the 2023 Purdue soccer team, Cuneio is joined by a six-member signing class announced last November, signee Makena Smithwho committed in January, and graduate transfer Charlotte Cyr. The newcomers will be joined by 22 returning players on this year’s roster. The 2023 Boilermakers begin preseason training next week before the season begins on August 17 at Folk Field.