Laura Kozik’s involvement with youth soccer on Long Island dates back to the early days of girls soccer on Long Island when she played at North Babylon High School.
And while her playing days are in the rearview mirror, the West Islip resident has stayed active in the game as a coach and a fixture at Long Island Junior Soccer League’s headquarters where she serves as the organization’s office manager.
Now, Kozik is being honored for her work within the youth soccer community as the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association has named her its Personality of the Month for June. She was nominated by her co-worker, Stephanie Hernandez.
“Laura has been with the league for 30-plus years, and she continuously is on the touchlines watching her grandkids play,” Hernandez said. “Her son Keith and daughter Joelle are still involved in the game today.”
Following her high school playing days, Kozik re-engaged with the sport in the early 1980s when her son, Keith, began playing soccer in Deer Park.
When her two kids played on teams in the Bay Shore Soccer Club in 1986, she coached her daughter, Joelle, while Keith played on a team coached by her husband, Dennis.
Laura received her C coaching certificate from the then-National Soccer Coaches Association of America (now United Soccer Coaches) while Dennis earned his A, B and C coaching certificates from the same organization.
In 1988, Kozik began working in the LIJSL office, starting out part-time and becoming full-time a year later.
Her full-time job with LIJSL didn’t keep her off the touchlines. She coached Joelle in the West Islip Soccer Club.
Today, there’s a new generation of Koziks on LIJSL fields as all three of her grandchildren play soccer. Keith coached his oldest child, Alyssa, in Bellport before she went on to play for HBC, Patchogue/Medford, East Islip and Lindenhurst.
Haley plays for the East Islip Destroyers and she previously played in West Islip, while the youngest, Dylan, plays for the West Islip Dragons.