Senior midfielder and captain for the Wildcats, Luciano Pechota, will be continuing his academic and soccer career at The Ohio State University next fall as he has officially committed to becoming a Buckeye. Pechota is coming off a memorable junior year, scoring 14 goals and racking up 12 assists in a 21-0 season that saw the Wildcats win a State and National Championship.
“I’m excited to begin my next chapter,” explains Pechota. “Matt Foldesy ’11 is the assistant coach and made the process a lot easier. This was the best fit for my family and me, close to home and I enjoy the culture at Ohio State and wanted to be a part of it.”
Hard work pays off, as Pechota has been a grinder on and off the field to become the best soccer player he can be at Saint Ignatius and that drive has been there since he stepped foot on campus as a freshman.
“He is one of the hardest-working kids who has ever played in this program,” says Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin ’85. “He is a wonderful leader and hard worker and for kids who want to be something special, follow what Luciano has done; put the time and effort in, you can be special.”
Pechota’s senior season is approaching rapidly, with the opening match coming on August 21 on the road at Avon Lake, but he is relieved the recruiting process is taken care of before the season starts. “I had a lot of stress the last couple of months trying to figure out where I wanted to go; my goal was to have it done before the season began,” Pechota says. “Now that it’s done, I can put all my focus towards the field.”
“I am so happy for him and Ohio State,” says McLaughlin. “Luciano is a special player; I think he has a high ceiling. Ohio State has an amazing coaching staff, and I think it's a program on the rise and Luciano will be a major step into national prominence.”
This summer has been a special one for Pechota as he has earned National accolades for his play on the field and work in the classroom.. In June, Pechota was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year from Ohio. Last week, Pechota was named USA Today’s High School Sports Award winner as he represented Ohio in soccer.
“It’s a great feeling, but to be honest, I don’t work for the accolades,” Pechota says. “My main goal is to work for a state and national championship.”
The Wildcats will seek to do just that in the 2021 season as they look to three-peat as State and National Champions. The Soccer Cats will host three more scrimmages before the kick-off to the season on Saturday, August 21, from Avon Lake at 3 p.m.