A model of efficiency with a can do attitude, Menlo College midfielder Alana Kualapai (Class of ’18) made a name for herself on Wunderlich Field. After sitting out her freshman year, the Escalon, California native and EHS graduate began making an immediate impact on the pitch in her sophomore campaign. Throughout the next three seasons, Alana became one of the most often called names amongst her fellow Oaks, as she showed great versatility, playing all over the field and doing whatever was best for her team. Alana has carried that mentality into her current career, as she currently serves as an Office Professional for the Plumbers and Steamfitters UA Local 342 in Concord, California.
Like in her playing days in Atherton, Alana does a little bit of everything in her current position. Her job duties include membership procurement and data processing, creating advertisements, assisting with event management, and overseeing all social media platforms. If that weren’t enough to keep her busy, Alana has also continued to work in the realm of soccer, as she works as a Ticket Sales Services Representative for the Oakland Roots SC, a professional soccer team of the National Independent Soccer Association. Alana’s commitment to hard work and dedication to the greater good has helped kickstart her post graduate career into positions where she is a trusted team member, as she was in her time with Menlo Soccer.
After sitting out in her first collegiate season, Alana worked hard to earn her way into the starting lineup by her sophomore debut. She would start the first seven matches of the season, scoring a trio of goals in the process. She appeared in every match of that season, starting half of them, and turning quite a few heads showing off her strong ability in the midfield. Injuries would hamper much of her junior season, but once again, Alana’s work ethic was on display, as she was able to recover from said injuries and work her way back to the pitch for the final nine matches of the season. In that time, Alana’s work ethic was also on display in the classroom, as she earned her first of two GSAC and Daktronic NAIA Scholar Athlete awards.
Alana was hungry to hit the pitch in her senior campaign, and by the time the Fall of 2017 hit, she was playing in top form. Alana appeared in every match of her senior year, starting all but one, and leading the Oaks to an undefeated regular season home record. She’d net her first goal in two years against UC Merced (the game winner), and came up with her first two collegiate assists in back to back matches against San Diego Christian and Arizona Christian. She’d score her final collegiate goal on the road against rival William Jessup and would pick up her final collegiate point less than a week later on a huge equalizing goal against 12th ranked The Master’s University in a double overtime 3-3 thriller. Like the season prior, Alana continued to thrive in the classroom, and was once again named a GSAC and Daktronic NAIA Scholar Athlete.
Despite brilliant grades and a stellar soccer career, Alana also had time to be extremely active on campus. She served on the school’s Student Athlete Leadership Committee and spent stints as the Secretary and Vice President of the Menlo College Pacific Islander Club. She also worked as a note-taker in the Academic Success Center and served as a student worker in the campus Post Office. Like many student-athletes at Menlo, Alana came to Menlo to continue her academic and athletic career, but found so much more than that.
In her own words:
“I was blessed to be given the opportunity to not only continue my education as a student-athlete, but to also foster lifelong relationships within the Menlo College community. Menlo played an integral part in shaping me into who I am today by opening my eyes to the world around me, such as deepening my cultural roots through the Pacific Islander Club.”
Alana Kualapai was, is, and always will be a hard worker. It is for this reason that nobody who spent any time around her while at Menlo would be surprised to hear that she is thriving in her current career choice.
Ryan Barnett is the Menlo College Sports Information Director; he can be reached at email@example.com.