Inspirational soccer standouts honored with ‘Moe’ Rosensteel scholarships

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 | 8:04 PM

The Kaitlyn “Moe” Rosensteel Scholarship Foundation planned to award one scholarship to a deserving WPIAL girls soccer player in the name of the late Ringgold and travel soccer standout and West Virginia Wesleyan recruit who was killed in June of 2019 by a lightning strike at Mammoth Park in Mt. Pleasant Township.

The idea is to recognize those who display Rosensteel’s traits — leadership and a passion for the game among them.

Some of the entry essays and interviews were so good, the foundation decided to choose two winners.

Both seniors dealt with setbacks in their lives but have shown resilience and a love for soccer and its close-knit community.

Hannah Nelson of Greensburg Central Catholic and Sydney Willig of Norwin are the inaugural recipients. They were honored Tuesday at a ceremony at Gato Taco & Tequila in Irwin.

The girls will receive $2,000 apiece.

Ed Rosensteel, Moe’s father who runs the foundation with his wife, Shelley, said he received essays from across Western Pennsylvania and one from Maryland. They left the entries open to any senior player who plans to play college soccer.

“As we were going through this process, we realized we had a pretty unique couple of young ladies,” Ed Rosensteel said. “They have both dealt with adversity and how it affected them in their day-to-day life but also on the soccer field. When we interviewed both Hannah and Sydney, it was for sure that the decision to offer them both a scholarship was the right decision, despite the fact we only budgeted for one.”

Nelson, a Pitt-Greensburg commit, won a WPIAL title at GCC last season along with a PIAA runner-up. She is the sister of former GCC baseball player Josh Nelson, who died suddenly in 2017.

Willig, who has learned to cope with cystic fibrosis while spreading awareness of the disease and new treatments, is known for being an energetic and loyal teammate and friend. She is headed to Geneva to play soccer.

“There are several principles that we hold on to as part of who Moe was and how she lived,” Ed Rosensteel said. “One of those principles is helping others get to where they want to go. Awarding Hannah and Sydney with the scholarships is helping two great young ladies get where they want to go.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .

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