Veronica Marques, formerly of the Franklin Pierce University women’s soccer program, has signed a contract to play professional soccer with Esporte Clube Bahia, as announced recently by the Brazilian club. The club competes in highest levels of women’s soccer in Brazil.
“Being a professional soccer player has always been my dream … I don’t see myself doing anything else, really. It had to be football. I feel extremely excited and grateful to be able to do what I wanted,” said Marques, a 2020 graduate, after signing the deal. “I’m excited to learn new things, meet new people, do great connections, and most important be happy doing what I love.”
Esporte Clube Bahia can trace its history back nearly 90 years, with the men’s side dating to 1931. Marques joins Gabi Pereira ’20 as the second Ravens alum who has signed a professional contract in Brazil this fall.
“Veronica’s career at FPU certainly wasn’t short of personal and collective accomplishments… Veronica’s ability to play with the ball at her feet, attack space, and terrorize defenders with her combination of pace and calculated movement was a joy to witness,” said Franklin Pierce head coach Jonathan Garbar. “All of us at FPU are proud of Veronica’s next step, and wish her continued progress as she embarks on the next stage of her journey.”
Marques spent three seasons in Rindge after spending her freshman campaign with Garbar at Monroe College, and hauled in a whole closetful of hardware for the Ravens. She was at her best as a junior in 2018, when she piled up 40 points (15-10-40) on the way to Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year, United Soccer Coaches All-America First Team, consensus All-East Region First Team and All-NE10 First Team accolades. Marques followed up with a 2019 senior season where she earned All-East Region Second Team honors from United Soccer Coaches, as well as All-NE10 First Team honors.
Marques was impressive in the classroom at Franklin Pierce as well. She collected Academic All-District honors from CoSIDA as a junior, and was a two-time selection to the NE10 Academic All-Conference Team. Marques earned NE10 Academic Honor Roll plaudits in each of her six semesters on campus, by continually posting semester grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher.