KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — With the United States Women’s National Soccer Team entering a new era, M.A. Vignola wrote her name into University of Tennessee history on Thursday by becoming the first Lady Vol to ever suit up for the team.
Vignola was officially called up by U.S. Soccer on Sept. 16 ahead of two friendly matches against South Africa. She made her USWNT debut in her hometown of Cincinnati during Thursday’s match when she was substituted on at halftime.
A university spokesperson confirmed that the 25-year-old defender is the first current or former Lady Vol to ever be selected to a senior U.S. women’s national team roster. She joins an elite shortlist of fewer than 300 players who have appeared for the national team since its first international match in 1985.
Keeley Dowling, who played at Tennessee from 2001-2004, was called into two senior USWNT camps in 2007 and 2008 but was not selected to a final roster.
The Cincinnati native played at Tennessee from 2016-2019, earning All-SEC and United Coaches All-Region honors as a junior and a senior, before beginning her professional career in Iceland.
Vignola signed with Angel City FC, a Los Angeles-based club in America’s top women’s soccer league, in 2021.
She has enjoyed a breakout season this year, playing in 15 matches with 12 starts while scoring two goals from the left back position. The National Women’s Soccer League named her to their Best XI of the Month in June.
The second friendly match be held on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m. It will be broadcast on TNT in English and Universo and Peacock in Spanish.