OHIO CITY, Oh - Senior captain Josip Rimac will continue his academic and athletic career at Cleveland State University as he has committed to becoming a Viking. Rimac finished his senior season as a State and National Champion and was named a United Soccer Coaches All-American. In 2021, Rimac totaled 23 goals, 20 assists and 81 points as he played his way to a Division I scholarship.
"It's really exciting for Josip and Cleveland State; he is a Division I soccer player," says Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin '85. "It's been a pleasure to watch him grow year after year at Saint Ignatius and we'll get a chance to watch him continue to grow and develop in our backyard at Cleveland State."
Rimac joins a terrific soccer program at Cleveland State. Last season the Vikings came up just short of winning the Horizon League Championship. Rimac will make an immediate impact on the CSU program and is excited to stay close to home for his college career.
"It's close to home and fitted everything I wanted in a school," says Rimac. "I want to go for corporate law and they have great academics; it was the perfect fit."
For the Rimac family, this is a proud moment as Josip joins his older brother Marko '21 at the Division I level. Marko committed to Bowling Green State University in the fall of 2020. "My brother went to Bowling Green the year before and now I'm going to Cleveland State. It's awesome for my family," Rimac explains. "It's special to continue at the Division I level."
Rimac left his name in the record books for Saint Ignatius Soccer as he broke the single-game record for assists in a game with seven in the Sectional Final against Barberton. It was a record-breaking season for the Wildcats as they scored a program's best 140 goals in the 2021 season. Rimac is one of the best when it comes to an offensive threat.
"Josip has an infectious energy everyone loves to be around and is a great teammate," says McLaughlin. "What he does on the field is dynamic and he can change games with his speed and deceptiveness, which came alive in his senior season especially."
Rimac capped off his senior season, competing in the All-American game in Knoxville, Tennessee, in December, along with fellow teammate Luciano Pechota. Rimac finished his career with the Wildcats with 28 goals, 25 assists and 81 points. "Coming in as a freshman, you want to be captain, you want to score and lead your team to a State Championship, but you never really think that it will happen," explains Rimac. "I thank God for the opportunities that Saint Ignatius has offered me throughout the years."
In 2021, Rimac became more of an offensive threat for the Wildcats, making him stand out on the pitch; this was evident in the 2021 OHSAA State Championship when Rimac broke the scoreless tie against Centerville in the second half. "I came into the year being directed towards scoring and getting assists, doing more for my team," Rimac says. "I wanted to contribute more to the team as effectively as possible on the field."
Rimac will look to make more history right down the road at Cleveland State University. Congratulations to Josip on his commitment to play at the next level.