Two young women I knew from Long Island were tragically lost in a DWI accident along with another of their friends, a huge loss for Massapequa, their families, freinds, local soccer, etc. In the wake of this horrific loss, the scholarship was generously established. This lucky and well deserving young woman, Stephanie Radakovic has been awarded this year is out of the Smithtown Hotspur of LIJSL, they took a State Open Cup title in 2016. This young women is now recovering from a car accident of her own in which she broke her ankle in 2 places. She recently stated, "I could easily say that the beautiful game of soccer has molded me into the person I am today. This sport has mentally challenged me and has pushed me to be a better version of myself daily. My dad taught me that if I wanted something in life, I had to work for it."
On a personal level, the writer of the press release, Randy Vogt, the DIrector of Public Relations for the Eastern NY Youth Soccer Assoc. and I are both from the same hometown and he may have as I did referee games of these women lost many decades too soon. Having attended NCC as had Patricia and played with and against both for countless hours at Shep Messing Soccer World. If memory serves me right, Patricia was headed to the USWNT at the time of her passing. It was a tradgedy as the funerals were packed with so many young people from Long Island, calling a few people telling them both were lost was a difficult thing to do. I last saw her Father, Peter and sister, Ann Marie at a recent induction ceremony of the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame, they are well and I share their pain having lost a sister, one never really fully heals.
It is a wonderful thing that this has been established to keep the memories of these 2 alive and to help other young female soccer players.