Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required
Prospector Poll

Do you prefer white elephant or secret santa?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

The Prospector’s Student-Athlete of the Month: Sheyliene Patolo

Gianluca Cuevas
Sheyliene Patolo recorded a season high of 73 minutes VS LA Tech as she notched up her lone goal of the season.

It was like a first love. Those are the words Sheyliene Patolo, a criminology major and player for UTEP’s soccer team, used to describe her first encounter with soccer. Growing up in Oahu, Hawaii, Patolo lived a very active lifestyle. When she was not practicing judo or playing musical instruments, she was always doing something to keep her busy. Although she participated in other activities, none of them compared to her passion for soccer.  

“I fell in love with soccer right away and I started competing at a young age and ever since it just became a passion and a love (of) mine. I’m just thankful that soccer has brought me to this point,” Patolo said.  

Graduating high school during the pandemic, Patolo found herself thrown into a virtual world with endless zoom meetings. Trying to find a college where she can keep pursuing soccer was a challenge, but one caught her eye.  

After many calls with other universities, Patolo found UTEP. Through talks with renowned coaches and Miner legends, Patolo decided that UTEP was the school for her.  

“I reached out to coaches (like) coach Melelina French, Kelly Parker and Holly Cohen. They are brilliant coaches that helped me get to this place and they’ve taught me a lot of the skills that I know now,” Patolo said.  

While the switch from oceans and beaches to desert and mountains was rough, Patolo came around to start enjoying life at UTEP. Patolo has gone as far to say that she would not have been in college if it was not for soccer. At this point, some people may be telling themselves “This is too much,” but for Patolo it is never enough.  

“I always deal with adversity (and mental battles), sometimes you could be in your head, and you could have self-doubt and you could be unconfident in your decisions, it could bring you down. The reason why I started and, you know, I go back to why I love this sport and all the things that I worked hard for in this sport,” Patolo said. “I definitely need to be motivated and confident, especially being away from home. I think my family and all their hard work keeps me motivated and my faith in the Lord. (They) really helped me through a lot of challenges (and) obstacles within myself.”  

One family member has served as her inspiration to keep going. Patolo recounts how her father would push her, making her the woman she is today. Though his style could be harsh at times, it was needed to teach Patolo the lifestyle that was needed to be committed to sports.  

“I would say my dad would serve as an in for me and I look up to my dad, even though he was really hard on me at home. He (was) really strict and sometimes selfish, but he really brought out discipline and hard work. (Now) I have a different mentality,” Patolo said.  

With her motivation figured out, Patolo plans to move through the ranks and play soccer professionally. First, she must focus on her studies and sports.   

Balancing sports and academics can be tough for some students, but Patolo  found a way to pursue soccer while keeping track of her schoolwork.  

“I was always taught that family (was first), school and then sports. I always put my school first and then sports because without academics, you can’t play the sport,” Patolo said. “Time management and just putting in that extra work to get your work done to perform at your best on the field. It helps me mentally (because) I don’t have to worry about my school.”  

Playing soccer at UTEP is something Patolo does with passion and determination. During her time in college, Patolo considered playing for other schools. From Arizona to Utah, to returning home to Hawaii, but Patolo does not plan on stopping at UTEP.  

Planning to play soccer professionally, Patolo has gone through a long journey of finding her motivation. Though it can seem difficult, Patolo has found her motivation in many places. 

“I plan to keep pursuing soccer just by staying healthy and working hard on the field, then I could join like semi pro leagues. I know connections of coaches that can hopefully get (me) to where I want to be,” Patolo said. “How bad do I want it? I (might) want to go outside of El Paso or back home, maybe even abroad.”  

For now, Patolo will stay focused on her journey in El Paso. While her trip to El Paso was not easy, she managed to make the most of everything and see the positives. Making friends and helpful connections, Patolo hopes to expand her pursuit in soccer to other states or countries. 

Elisha Nuñez is a staff reporter and can be reached through [email protected] 

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Elisha Nuñez, Staff Reporter
Elisha Nuñez is a multimedia journalism student with a minor in marketing at the University of Texas at El Paso.  He works as a reporter for The Prospector, and loves to write about arts, culture, and people. This semester, he wishes to do more freelance work for publications in and outside of El Paso. After graduation, he would like to experience multiple positions at different places, and even has plans for continuing his current education outside of the U.S.
Gianluca Cuevas, Photographer
Gianluca Cuevas is a staff photographer for The Prospector. He is a junior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. He plans to work in the automotive industry designing cars/mechanic in the F1. He also has his small photography business 365elements which he plans to continue to grow.
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Prospector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *