North Allegheny grad Luchini makes quick impact for Lehigh men’s soccer
North Allegheny graduate and Lehigh men’s soccer freshman Josh Luchini is picking up the pace.
Luchini, a 6-foot forward, scored two goals in a 3-0 win over host Army West Point in the Patriot League opener Sept. 22. He was named the Patriot League Men’s Soccer Rookie of the Week.
Lehigh coach Dean Koski said playing alongside senior Mark Forrest helped Luchini. Forrest, a 2017 third-team United Soccer Coaches All-American, assisted on both of Luchini’s goals in their first game together as forwards.
Koski said Luchini is in a position where he can be more attack-minded.
Luchini, whose brother Jamie starred for the Mountain Hawks, scored one goal in a 3-2 overtime loss against visiting Cornell Sept. 25. Earlier, he scored the game winner in a double overtime victory at Rider.
He is second with nine points for the Mountain Hawks (4-4-1 overall, 1-0-0 in the league).
“Josh is making progress game-to-game, week-to-week, figuring out the pace and level of (NCAA) Division I soccer,” Koski said. “He is learning every day and we are pleased with his development.
“(I expect him) to learn how to adjust to Division I defenders, identify space to exploit without the ball and contribute to our attack by creating scoring chances for his teammates or himself.”
Luchini, a 2017 United Soccer Coaches Fall High School Boys All-American who led North Allegheny to a repeat of the WPIAL Class 4A title, said the transition from high school to college soccer has been easy.
“The guys on the team welcomed me and the other freshmen with open arms and really made us feel a part of the team early on,” he said. “It’s definitely more of a fast-paced and physical game, but, as you play more, you get used to it.”
Luchini hopes to help the Mountain Hawks, who are based in Eastern Pennsylvania, to the league title. They lost in the quarterfinals last season.
“As long as I contribute to the team (in) any way, it’ll be a good year for me,” he said.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.