The UTSA soccer team has enjoyed a dramatic turnaround in form this season. A few months after wrapping up their delayed 2020 season with a 3-7-1 record, the team has come roaring back to life to start the season 4-2. Helping to lead the charge for the Roadrunners is fifth-year senior forward Ellis Patterson. The native of Austin, Texas, has already notched two goals and two assists through the first six games of her final season. Notably in the past two weeks Patterson has moved into third place on the UTSA career leaderboards in goals, assists and points.
“That’s pretty cool, definitely something I’m proud of. Knowing that motivates me,” Patterson said.
Patterson is very clear that her priorities do not lie with chasing individual records; she is focused on the team.
“I don’t want that to be just my mindset…my goal on the team is to win games, get to the conference tournament…so individually, it’s a cool thing to think about, but it’s not my focus,” Patterson said.
Patterson credits her success on the field in part to the preparation she puts in throughout the week that gives her the confidence in herself to go out and perform.
“I’m the kind of person to trust the process, and, if I’ve prepared right throughout the whole week, I know I’m going to perform well…if I know I’m prepared, I have that sense of confidence. I’m just ready to go,” Patterson said.
Speaking on the turnaround the team has enjoyed this year, Patterson gives credit to a new group of players and a renewed team-first mentality.
“Honestly, I think it’s one, our preparation, and two, our mindset. Bringing in a new class of freshmen and transfers, then the mindset of the returners, everyone just wants to win. Right now, this group of girls we have, they’re willing to put everything on the line. That whole mindset of, this is something bigger than me, this is the whole team, I think our whole team has that mentality,” Patterson said.
Reflecting on her career, Patterson points to one particular goal that stands out as a favorite.
“I think it was my sophomore year, it was my first goal of the season when we’re playing Grand Canyon University and I scored with my head, which doesn’t happen very often. So that was like, oh my gosh, that was crazy. That’s my favorite goal,” Patterson said.
Patterson also shared that playing youth soccer was pretty standard for her and her siblings, but she really wanted to stick with it.
“There wasn’t a defining moment, I loved playing and I didn’t want to stop playing,” Patterson said.
Patterson credits joining Austin Sting, a travel club soccer team, with really pushing her forward and elevating her game.
“Joining Sting definitely helped me get where I am today, just playing at a higher level of competition and getting in front of coaches,” Patterson said.
When she is not dominating in the classroom or on the pitch, Patterson likes to indulge in her main hobby of artistic creation.
“I’m very arts and crafty, so sometimes I’ll paint. I picked up sewing recently. I just like doing things that keep my mind occupied more than just school and soccer. I feel like that escape is good for me.”
Off the pitch, Patterson is a standout student academically. A four-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll, and a member of the C-USA first-team All-Academic roster, Patterson is majoring in business, but has not decided what she wants to do going forward, but she is ready to explore life outside of soccer.
“I think I want to see what my life is like without soccer for a little bit because I’m 22. 16 years of my life [has been devoted to soccer]. I love the game and everything, but I’m excited to open that next door and focus on life outside of soccer,” Patterson said. Right now, I’m debating whether I should pursue a master’s degree, or if I should just join the workforce. I have to figure out who I am outside of soccer and what I want to do with my career.”