Maria Vicol found her first international success at the 1956 World Junior Championships, where she won a silver medal, the first Romanian fencing medal in a major competition. During her career, which lasted until 1970, Vicol won two Olympic bronze medals (1960 in individual foil and 1968 in the team competition), was the 1969 World Team Champion, won team silvers at the 1965 and 1970 World Championships, and team bronze at the 1961 World Championships. After finishing her sporting career, Vicol worked as a fencing coach, at first with CS Cutezătorii and then with CSS1 Bucharest. Her most famous pupil was the 1996 Olympic foil champion Laura Badea. Vicol also served as an international fencing referee.