Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association has announced that a Patricia Louise Masotto and Brenda Driscoll Scholarship has been awarded to Stephanie Radakovic.

Radakovic played midfield for Sachem North High School and the Lake Grove/Newfield Tsunami, Lake Grove/Newfield Huskies and Smithtown Hotspur of the Long Island Junior Soccer League, winning a State Open Cup with the Tsunami in 2016.

The Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y. resident wrote in her essay, ”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. We would go in my backyard for hours until I perfected my foot skills or could hit the net in the same spot 20 times. The word dedication was engraved in my mind and carried over with me throughout the years. My dad explained how there was a difference in the good players and the great players. I knew I wanted to be great so I gave it all up for that. Whether I was watching soccer on TV, juggling a ball in my basement or going on runs after practice, I was always trying to work harder than everyone else. I learned how to sacrifice myself for a greater cause due to the relationships that grew among my teammates and I.”

Radakovic concluded by writing, ”My senior year in high school, I was a car accident and broke my ankle in two places. I am currently working towards being prepared to play in college and really have to push myself to be ready. Soccer is such a big part of my life I am willing to do whatever it takes to get it back.”

The scholarship’s namesakes were best friends and top women’s soccer players from Massapequa, Long Island and Eastern New York set up a scholarship in their name after they were killed by a drunk driver in 1985. This award is based on academic and athletic success as well as community service.