Story by Chelsea Naso and Christina Johnson
The 12-year-old girl who died following a sudden cardiac episode during soccer practice at Sunnyside Recreation Area on Tuesday has been identified as Middletown resident Alexis Mason.
Mason joined the St. Mary’s Travel Soccer Club about five years ago after her family moved to Middletown, Club President Dominic Acerra told Patch Wednesday.
He recalled Mason as a spirited team leader who had a positive influence on her teammates.
“No matter what the score or the result of the game, she always had a positive outlook,” he said. “She really loved her team, her coach; she loved the game.”
Mason, who wore jersey number 27, played midfield and was in great physical shape, Acerra said.
“She was probably one of the best conditioned girls on the team. She always gave 110 percent on and off of the field,” he said.
Acerra said St. Mary’s was scheduled to host grief counseling Wednesday night. The church is located at 19 Cherry Tree Farm Road in Middletown.
“This is a tragic loss to all of us at St. Mary’s and all of her friends at school,” he said. “She’s going to be missed by all of us.”
Joey Altieri, the owner of the Sunnyside Market, said that on Wednesday, several customers had expressed their shock over the loss of the child as they picked up coffee, sandwiches and the newspaper. Altieri was especially sad to realize the Thompson Middle School seventh grader lived around the corner from him in his Middletown neighborhood.
Earlier Tuesday, two of Alexis Mason’s siblings were running a lemonade stand for cancer, and Altieri’s daughter stopped by to support the cause.“My heart goes out to the family,” he said. “It’s devastating.”