Nicolas Maldonado-Molina will attend Cornell University this fall.(Photo courtesy of ENYYSA)

Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association has awarded that Ronkonkoma, N.Y. native Nicolas Maldonado-Molina a Livio D’Arpino Scholarship.

At Connetquot High School, Maldonado-Molina was a member of the National Honor Society and the Social Studies Honor Society, ranking ninth in a class of 427 students.

In his essay, he wrote that “as an Eagle Scout, I have developed invaluable skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and perseverance, all which have shaped my character and prepared me to face challenges with confidence. Being a team captain for both the varsity soccer and track teams has further enhanced my leadership abilities. Through leading by example and motivating my teammates, I have fostered a sense of unity and collaboration, resulting in successful seasons for both teams.”

Maldonado-Molina plays for Ronkonkoma Connetquot Real FC, the current Boys Under-18 State Cup champions.

The scholarship’s namesake, D’Arpino, was an Eastern New York vice president who was seemingly involved in every level of local soccer before his passing in 2002. The award is based on success in high school as well as community service.

Maldonado-Molina will be pursuing a medical degree, following a Pre-Med program starting at Cornell University this fall.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at