FLORENCE -- Former University of North Alabama women's soccer standout Tassia Augusto has signed a professional contract with Club Atlético de Madrid de fútbol sala in the Futsal indoor soccer league in Spain.
The leading scorer in North Alabama history with 64 goals and 20 assists, Augusto scored 29 goals with six assists in 2009 while leading the Lions to the best season in school history. UNA finished the year with a 19-4-
1 record and earned its first-ever NCAA Division II Tournament appearance. A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Augusto was a two-time Gulf South Conference Player of the Week this season. She also earned All-GSC Tournament honors, as well second-team All-South Region acclaim.Academically, she was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas Senior College Women's Scholar All-America Team.
A Health, Physical Education and Recreation major, Augusto had a cumulative 3.67 grade point average and was also previously selected for the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America team by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
"I couldn't be happier when I found out everything I had dreamed of had finally become a reality," Augusto said. "I wanted the opportunity so bad but I never thought it could actually happen to me, especially not as fast as it did. It is an awesome feeling to see all my family and friends so proud of me because it is them that have always believed in me. However, I know that right now this is just an opportunity and it's going to be up to me to make it work and to make my dreams really come true. This whole situation is very surreal right now and I don't think it will hit me until I get there."
UNA head coach Graham Winkworth said this is a fantastic opportunity for Augusto.
"I know this has been a lifelong dream for her and for UNA to be a stepping stone in making this happen gives me great pride in what we are doing here," he said. "I wish Tassia the best of luck and hope she dedicates her first hatrick to us at UNA."
"I am so very proud of all she achieved here at UNA," Winkworth added. "To not only score all the goals she did but to do it while becoming an Academic All-America as well speaks volumes of the type of character she has."
"Coach Winkworth has had an incredible influence on my achievements throughout the past three years," said Augusto. "He was the one who believed in me when no one else did, not even myself. Throughout difficult times at College he showed me how important soccer is in my life and made me realize that you should never give up. He always told me he believed in my ability and that I was more than capable to play after College.
He gave me the strength to follow my dreams by being the kind of coach that makes you grow as a person as well as a player. I think of myself lucky to have been one of his players for the past three years at UNA because he has done a great job in changing a group of individuals into a strong team."
Augusto said that while she is following her dream of playing professionally, she hopes to someday return to the United States to work as a coach.