Jean Varas will be inducted into the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame in ceremonies on Saturday.
Ceremonies will be held at the Huntington Hilton in Melville, N.Y.
She will be inducted into the Hall, along with Nick Megaloudis, Doc Lawson, Peter Jianette, John Lignos and Mary Theresa Varas.
Peter Collins, the late president of the Long Island Junior Soccer League, will receive the Paul LeSueur Ambassador of the Game Award.
The Hall also will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Arrows, who won their fourth and final Major Indoor Soccer League championship in 1982.
Varas was a two-time All-American at Berner H.S. in Massapequa, N.Y. She also helped laid the foundation for the Massapequa Falcons, who captured the U.S. Youth Soccer’s Girls Under-18 national championship in 1986.
She also was a member of the newly formed Region 1 Olympic Development Program teams from 1981-83, which culminated with her selection to the 1983 U-18 U.S. Youth National team and was among the first female U.S. youth players to compete internationally when the team toured Europe.
Varas was a member of the Long Island team’s dominance in the Empire State Games from 1981-85, winning four gold medals and a silver. She attended the University of Central Florida from 1984-87, being selected to the All-South Regional team and was named an All-America in her senior year. Varas was a two-time participant in the College Cup, scoring 29 goals, good for 11th place on the school’s all-time list.
In 1984, Jean and her sister Mary were featured in Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd” for their accomplishments as soccer playing sisters. The appearance in SI was thought to be the first published recognition for female soccer players.
Varas participated in three U.S. Olympic Festivals, winning the gold medal with 1985 South team, and a silver at the 1987 US event.
She competed in the W-League (USL), the first U.S. national amateur women’s soccer league launched in 1994, before performing with the Orlando Lions and Tampa Bay.
“The Class of 2022 is an extraordinary example of the amazingly rich history of soccer on Long Island,” LISPHOF founder Kevin L. McCrudden said. “In the early days of men’s and women’s soccer in America, you can find the footprints of some of the greatest and most influential players in America on Long Island. Never mind one of the most influential people in American soccer history, Mr. Peter Collins. Truly one of the ‘founding fathers’ of youth soccer on Long Island and America.”
Added Hall executive director Jim Kilmeade: “The Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame not only represents world class athletes, but world class human beings. On behalf of our board of directors, we look forward to learning about their individual life stories and are honored to induct this distinguished Class of 2022. These seven individuals have collectively inspired and impacted the lives of thousands of young soccer players, coaches and fans across Long Island and the Country. We look forward celebrating the 1981-82 national champion – NY Arrows and the careers of Doc Lawson, Peter Jianette, Mary Theresa Varas, Jean Varas, Nick Megaloudis John Lignos and the man at the forefront of the sport on Long Island, Mr. Peter Collins.”