Zalma Torres initially planned to attend and play soccer for Scottsdale Community College, until she received an unexpected phone call from World Soccer Champion and PC alumna, Jessica McDonald, encouraging Zalma to attend PC. After missing a few calls from an unknown number, Zalma and Jessica talked – and Jessica spoke about PC’s legendary soccer program, and the passion and support Jessica received from the PC athletic team, which prepared Jessica for the next stages of her athletic career.
Zalma recalls the conversation in a podcast with PC soccer coach Dave Cameron, where she also reminisces about her soccer career from youth-player to National Soccer Champion with Phoenix College in 2022. Zalma laughs as she sees footage of herself playing many years ago, commenting on how much smaller she was than the other players.
What Zalma lacks in size, she more than makes up for in speed. Nicknamed the “Z-Train”, Zalma was named National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Player of the Year, All-ACCAC First Team, Region 1 First Team, and an All-American Athlete this past year.
Zalma capped off an amazing year with another lifetime milestone; graduating from PC in May. As she was deciding what was next, Zalma says she struggled with the need to stay close to home and her family, with her desire to take her athletic and educational pursuits to the next level. Zalma says her coaches and mentors at PC told her that sometimes you have to sacrifice the comfort of home to become better versions of ourselves.
Zalma leaves next week for William Carey University, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she will continue to play soccer – while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business. She knows that being away from home will be hard, but Zalma says she also knows that her PC family will always be here to support her.
Thinking back to that fateful phone call from Jessica McDonald, Zalma agrees that PC coaches, athletic staff, and mentors went above and beyond to ensure that Zalma had the support system she needed to be successful. Zalma has her sights set on the future, with a goal to be a coach herself one day, and be part of the support system for the next generation of student athletes.
Listen to the podcast featuring Zalma Torres.