After leading the Mountain Hawks to a championship season in 2019, junior men’s soccer forward Josh Luchini has been named to the MAC Hermann Watchlist.
The MAC Hermann Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding male and female collegiate soccer players and is widely considered the most prestigious award in college soccer.
Luchini is one of 34 players on the men’s watchlist this year and is among nine All-American players who were listed.
During his sophomore season, Luchini was honored with multiple awards including Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Patriot League, Third Team All-American and First Team All-Atlantic Region.
The MAC Hermann nomination is the highest honor Luchini has ever received, and although the winner will not be announced until May 27, 2021, Luchini said he is honored to be considered.
Luchini said while he is proud of himself for making the MAC Hermann Watchlist, he attributes his success to an overall supportive team environment.
“Growing up I heard about kids that made it on watchlists like this and I really wanted to be them one day,” Luchini said. “But on the other hand we just have such a great team and a lot of my success is due to them rallying behind me every game.”
Associate head coach Ryan Hess, said he is glad to see that Luchini’s hard work is paying off and being noticed at such high esteems.
“We have always known that Josh (Luchini) can achieve at that level, but it’s always a nice confidence boost to be recognized at the national level,” he said.
Nick Jennings, junior defender, said he believes Luchini’s success ultimately benefits the entire team.
He said it is not often Lehigh has someone named to the watchlist for such a prestigious award.
“It is a huge deal not only for him but for the direction of the Lehigh men’s program,” Jennings said. “It shows that Lehigh is bringing in great talent.”
Jennings said Luchini’s fierce competitiveness is what sets him apart from other players and that his energy contributes to everyone else’s.
Even in training sessions, Jennings said Luchini hates losing.
“I think a lot of our guys feed off of his will to win which improves everyone on the field,” Jennings said.
Hess said with COVID-19 creating an unusual season this year, Luchini needs to be a role model for the team.
Now, as a junior, Luchini will have more players looking to him than previous years.
“Stepping out of sophomore year and into junior year he has way more younger players looking to him and they see all of his accolades and really respect him,” Hess said.
Luchini said one of his biggest goals for this season is to take on more of a leadership role.
“I definitely tend to be more of a leader by example, but going into my junior season I know I have to start to voice my opinion and take on more of a vocal role,” he said.
Luchini will take the field again in the Mountain Hawks season opener, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 6, 2021, against American University.