Maui United Soccer Club’s Leialoha Medeiros Commits to University of Hawaii at Manoa
Lei, congratulations on your recent success and committing to a scholarship offer at the University of Hawai'i. With all the schools that offered you a scholarship, what made you decide to stay home and continue your education and soccer career here in Hawai'i?
“I chose to commit to the University of Hawai'i because it’s a great school and they have a solid women’s soccer program. I also believe that Coach Bud is a great coach and mentor; she has done such an outstanding job with the UH Women’s Soccer program in only a few years. I am excited and want to be part of building that program. I want to win a conference championship for UH and compete at the highest level. Over the years, Coach Bud has coached me at several College ID Camps. We have always had a great relationship. She has watched me play for many years now and she believes that I can be an impact player as a freshman at UH. I also chose UH so I can play in front of my family and friends.”
How excited are you for college? What are your plans to prepare yourself for the Division 1 level?
“I am really looking forward to going to college! I'm excited to experience Division 1 Level Soccer and also the other college experiences outside of the sport. I’m looking forward to building lifelong friendships and many memorable experiences over the years at UH. I am preparing for college soccer through intensive training with Maui United Soccer Club and Hawaii Elite Soccer Academy. I will also continue to play in tournaments and in college showcases. The goal is to continue to work hard and keep improving every day as a player.”
What are your goals as a 16-year-old student-athlete?
“My academic goal is to maintain at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA by the end of my senior year. My athletic goals involve me training my best (110% every practice), performing better each game, standing out at camps and being recognized and lastly showing respect for the game and everyone involved.”
It is a huge accomplishment to earn a Division 1 athletic scholarship. Can you please share with us how you have gained such success within the sport?
“It was not an easy journey getting to this point. A lot of ups and downs along the way, but truly all worth it. Without the support of my parents and all the training and knowledge gained from my coaches, I wouldn’t be the player I am today. As a kid, I always placed myself in a competitive environment playing club soccer. My dad always encouraged me to become the best player that I could possibly be. Coach Brent and the rest of the MUSC staff continue to fuel my passion for the game. MUSC and Hawaii Elite Soccer Academy has provided me with opportunities that I am very thankful for.
Most recently, you returned home from The Puma Women’s Elite College Showcase Camp at ESPN’s Disney Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida. How did you get invited to this prestigious event? Could you share a little bit about this exciting opportunity, as you were able to compete against the countries top high school sophomores and juniors, in the presence of top college coaches.
“Through our club partnership with Puma and Coach Brent’s recommendation, I was able to participate in this event. What I enjoyed the most was that I was able to play in front of a handful of college coaches alongside other top players trying to earn a scholarship. The facility itself, ESPN’s Disney Sports Complex, was an experience of a lifetime.”
What advice do you have for young motivated female players?
“My advice is to surround yourself with coaches that want the best for you and teammates that have the same passion for the game as you. If you want to play at the highest level, put in the extra time and get as much training and opportunities to play with and against girls that are at your level and higher. There are many sacrifices you will have to make, but that’s just part of the fun! You have to make the commitment to yourself that you want to be the best soccer player and then follow your dreams.”