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Pitt alum Juliana Vazquez signs with Puerto Rico Sol

The midfielder was a captain of the Pitt women’s soccer team

Matt Hawley

Former Pitt midfielder Juliana Vazquez signed with the Puerto Rico Sol of the Liga Puerto Rico on Monday, marking the first time in Pitt head coach Randy Waldrum’s tenure in Pittsburgh that one of his players has advanced to the professional ranks. She appeared in 70 games for the Panthers between 2015 and 2019, finishing with four career goals and six assists.

“The main reason I came to Pitt was because I wanted to help build a program and a legacy, rather than latching on to an already-established program,” Vazquez said in a statement. “After my last two seasons here at Pitt, I am confident that I am leaving the program in a much better place then I found it. Coach Waldrum and his staff greatly contributed to my development as a player over these last two seasons, and I cannot thank them enough for investing in me. I am so grateful and excited for the opportunity to play for Puerto Rico Sol and to fulfill my lifelong dream of playing professional soccer.”

Vazquez was a four-year starter at Pitt, and she became a team captain in 2019. The Youngstown, Ohio, native played one of the best games of her career against Boston College on Oct. 10, as she opened up the scoring in the 50th minute and then helped set up the game-winning goal in overtime. The result was a memorable 2-1 win, which was Pitt’s first win in ACC play in three years.

The Sol are based in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, a town situated on the island’s western coast. Vazquez’s brother Nick Vazquez, a former outfielder with the Pitt baseball team, played pro ball in the same town for Los Indios de Mayaguez in 2016. Her family also has roots in Puerto Rico through her father Ben Vazquez.

Vazquez joins a team that has been highly successful of late, as the Sol won 21 games and a league title last season after outscoring opponents 142-3 under Sol manager Shek Borkowski. The midfielder will begin her pro career with the team in January.

”Thank you to my mom and dad for supporting and encouraging me every step of the way and my brother for serving as my inspiration and paving the way in professional sports,” Vazquez said. “I cannot wait to continue the family tradition of playing professionally in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico!”