First-year ACC Cougar’s striker, Juliana Vannucci has been playing soccer for as long as she can remember. Vannucci, an exchange student from Sao Paulo, Brazil, said her father got her involved with soccer at a young age.
“As soon as me and my brother started walking, he taught us how to play,” said Vannucci.
Vannucci moved to Canada in August of 2018, after deciding she would have a better opportunity to further her soccer career there. When Vannucci first arrived in Canada, she started her grade 12 year at Minnedosa Collegiate and played on the school’s team.
“We made it to provincials, and we got third place – so that was cool,” said the 19-year-old.
While Vannucci relocated to Manitoba, her parents stayed in Brazil, but Vannucci said her parents have been nothing but supportive of her moving up north to develop her soccer skills.
Vannucci said Brazil isn’t as invested in girls’ soccer as Canada is, which is why she played on a boys’ team in Sao Paulo until she was 13 years old.
“We don’t have half of the investment that Canada has when it comes to girls’ soccer,” said Vannucci. “We do have the potential it’s just not used.”
Although Vannucci has only been playing in Canada for a year, the fan support at her games is much higher than it was in Brazil.
“You want to play when you know they want you to play,” said Vannucci. “Back home it’s like you really want to play but there’s no one watching and no one there for you.”
The 2019 MCAC soccer season is Vannucci’s first time playing soccer at the college level.
“The girls have been really nice since the first practice,” said Vannucci. “I’m just excited to play and hopefully bring something to the table.”
Vannucci said she is never going to stop playing soccer and that the sport acts as a break from reality.
“I love to just go play and just forget about everything else for two hours,” said Vannucci.
Vannucci is currently taking the Interactive Media program at ACC, with hopes of having a future career in sports broadcasting.