Vanessa Vazquez and Yoseline Hernandez were rivals in high school and after two years at Western Nebraska Community College, the two will be taking their soccer talents to the same four-year university after they signed with Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Friday night.
The two become the latest Cougars that have attended Point Park University with the first one being Izzy Hunter back in 2016 and 2017 where she earned First Team All-Conference honors.
Hernandez, of Commerce City, Colorado, said she is ready for the change to the east coast.
“I think I was ready to go to a bigger city after having lived in Denver and then lived here,” Hernandez said. “I managed my work and my studies of when I should be working and when I should have free time. I think I am ready to be far away from home. I just feel like I am ready for a new start.”
For Vazquez, she can’t believe that she will be attending the same school with her now best-friend after their high schools were rivals on the soccer field. Hernandez attended Adams City High while Vazquez attended Aurora Central. Vazquez said Hernandez’ high school team always beat them but that is OK.
“It is crazy to think that I will be going with one of my best friends,” Vazquez said. “I am thankful and also sad that I didn’t go with my other best friend, but I feel like we are both incredibly hard working and to have someone like Yoseline with me, will help me and we won’t miss home as much as I would. It will also be like support and be a little easier out there.”
Vazquez said her and Hernandez have a lot of the same values and the biggest one is their soccer talents on the field.
“I think me and Yoseline think alike. I was also looking for something bigger,” Vazquez said. “I think that school will push me in my next step. It will be a good opportunity for me to continue growing. I got a good offer and I decided to go there.”
For Hernandez, she is happy she gets to play the sport of soccer for another two years.
“It is amazing (to continue to play soccer),” Hernandez said. “I have played soccer for I don’t know how many years. I feel like it is a sport that brings people together and I think that is what I am most excited about; just meeting new people.”
Coming to WNCC was one of the best decisions for the two especially coming from the big city of Denver.
“It was something you had to adjust to,” Hernandez said. “I wasn’t used to be away from home and I feel like I learned how to manage my independence and that is, I guess, that is a cursing and a blessing in disguise. I am off to bigger and better things.”
Vazquez said attending a junior college was valuable for her.
“I think it has (been a good thing to come here),” she said. “It helps you get your toes wet and get you used to what it is like to play college ball. I am really thankful that I had the opportunity to come here and see what it is like to be a college student-athlete, learn to manage all that stuff, and get used to being away from home as well.”
Vazquez appeared in 29 matches over the past two seasons and scored seven goals and had four assists. She also had six yellow cards. Hernandez was more of a defensive player on the field where she did have two shots, but she maintained the defensive side. She had just two yellow cards in her two seasons.
Now, these two will be ready for the next level.
“I feel like we will be able to push each other. She is hard-headed, I am hard-headed, and we are going to take over that city and that team, too,” Hernandez said. “I am ready for change. I am ready for new scenery. I am ready for new everything.”
Hernandez said it will be hard to leave WNCC, but it isn’t a goodbye, just a see you later.
“There were some really amazing people here and I would like to say we will keep in contact,” the computer science security major said. “I don’t think it will be goodbye, I think it will be a see you later in my opinion.”
For Vazquez, her time here is about to come to close, but she has gained so many more life-long friends that leaving will be hard.
“I feel like I met some really incredible people here and I will really miss them,” Vazquez, who is planning on majoring in criminal justice, said. “I feel like I formed bonds that I didn’t think I would form. I got to meet so many people, not just on the soccer field but on the campus, and I am really thankful for that. Every moment I was on the field with these girls to play was a pleasure and something I will always cherish because they are all so friendly and so crazy and every moment was incredible with them.”
Vazquez said it will be hard for her to say goodbye to the many athletes and staff members she has bonded with.
“I will miss the people. I think I have met some great people and formed some great bonds with some of the people,” she said. “But, I think I definitely am ready. I think it is something completely different and something I am not used to, but I think this is where I should be and it feels right and I am going to take this next step. I just want to thank everybody that helped me in my journey. I think everyone here has played a role in my success at Western Nebraska and I am truly thankful for.”