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Luchini earns Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors at Lehigh

Photo courtesy Lehigh University men's soccer / athletics

Luchini earns Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors at Lehigh

The accolades keep coming and coming for Josh Luchini, and more importantly for the former North Allegheny standout, he’s hoping to do his part to lead Lehigh University men’s soccer team to a Patriot League’s championship.

The Mountain Hawks face Bucknell in the Patriot League’s conference playoff semifinal on Tuesday, as Luchini will be leading the attack.

“My personal goals are to lead the team in goals scored, but, honestly, I could care less about that,” Luchini, who was part of North Allegheny’s back-to-back boys 4A WPIAL championships in 2016 and 2017, said back in September.

“As long as we are finding a way to win, I don’t care how we do it as long as we get it done and win a Patriot League championship.”

In his sophomore season, Luchini has been an offensive force for the Mountain Hawks, leading the Patriot League in goals and game-winning goals with 11 and five, respectively. In the week after scoring a game-high three goals in a 4-2 victory against Boston University on Sept. 28, Luchini earned National Player of the Week honors by both the United Soccer Coaches and College Soccer News

Last week, when post season honors were revealed, the sophomore was one of four Lehigh student-athletes to be named to the First-Team All-Patriot League. Luchini has been named offensive player of the week four times this season, which is tied in the Patriot League record books with his old teammate, and a name Pittsburgh soccer fans are familiar with — Mark Forrest, who played with the Riverhounds SC this year.

Long-time Lehigh coach Dean Koski told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Luchini’s improvement has been impressive — even following a solid first-year when he made the All-Patriot League third team and was rookie of the week twice.

“He has improved his running without the ball, holds the ball much better under pressure and has become a more clinical goal scorer,” Koski said. “Josh is projected to be one of the better forwards in the league.

Luchini follows his older brother, Jamie, who also starred for Lehigh picking up a few accolades along the way as well. The elder Luchini a former scholar All-American, played a season with USL’s Bethlehem Steel FC, making 16 appearances in 2016.

Josh Luchini and the Mountain Hawks, who carry an unbeaten conference record (6-0-3) into the playoffs, primary focus is to knock off conference rival Bucknell, and win its first Patriot League title and earn its first NCAA appearances since 2015, when Jamie Luchini was a senior.

“Everyone is buying into the system and we all work for each other,” Luchini said. “(It’s) pretty amazing to see it all come together.”

 

 

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets including Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the United States. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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