OHIO CITY, Oh - The Ohio State University soccer program will gain another Saint Ignatius student-athlete in Zsombor Onodi. The senior attacker is a three-year letter award winner and a two-time State and National Champion. Onodi has become one of the best scorers in program history and he is not finished yet as the Soccer Cats are in midseason.
The commitment came during the off-season, just before the summer for Onodi. “The coaching staff and facilities stuck out to me when I made my decision,” explains Onodi. “The way that Ohio State plays the game is what attracted me to commit.”
The Buckeyes continue to build their program with Saint Ignatius student-athletes. Senior goal keeper Patrick McLaughlin committed to The Ohio State University earlier this year. Luciano Pechota ’22 is a current member of the Buckeyes in Columbus. Pechota as a true freshman, has played in each game this season for Ohio State, scoring his first collegiate goal against Indiana. Onodi will be reuniting with his former teammate next fall.
“I am excited to rejoin Luciano, he is a great leader and player and I can’t wait to play with him again,” Onodi says. “I am thrilled to be on the field with Luciano and Patrick and try to repeat our high school success.”
For Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin ’85, Ohio State was the perfect fit for his senior striker. “I am proud of Zsombor and what he has accomplished at Saint Ignatius; he has been a major impact on our program over the past three years,” McLaughlin says. “I think he has shown that he can be successful at the next level. To be able to continue to play with Luciano and Patrick, that bodes well for Zsombor.”
The Wildcats are eight games into the regular season and have a perfect 8-0-0 record. Onodi has entered the top ten in goals and assists in program history and his season is far from over. Onodi has been a member of the varsity squad since his sophomore season; since then, he has scored 53 goals and 26 assists. Onodi has hit 11 game winners as well during his time as a Wildcat, with perhaps more to come.
“Being dynamic has helped me on the field, using both my feet and working on my speed,” says Onodi. “Natural finishing has been key for me; trying to score whenever the ball is in front of me has helped me become a reliable striker.”
What may be lost in the shuffle about Onodi’s game is his way of involving his teammates on the pitch. Each season Onodi has found ways to improve his passing game. “Not only has he had an amazing career scoring goal, but is also a tremendous passer and has a high number of assists,” explains McLaughlin. “He is not one-dimensional; he is dynamic and reads the game well. He greatly understands the game when he is on the field.”
The Soccer Cats have outscored their opponents through eight games, 42-3. Onodi has had his fair share of dominance and just recently scored a hat trick against St. Charles Prep in Columbus. Saint Ignatius continues to have a high-powered offense on the pitch and there seems to be no end in sight.
“I love how much offensive power we have on this team; we have great players on the attack,” says Onodi. “Overall, our offense is scary for other teams and that is one aspect that makes me excited for the future of this season.”
For Onodi and his fellow seniors, they will celebrate Senior Day o Saturday afternoon when the Wildcats host the Toledo St. Francis Knights. There will be 17 total seniors being honored and coach McLaughlin is grateful but sad to see them go after this season.
“It is amazing what these guys were able to do as sophomores; they were in many ways the key part when we won the State Championship in 2020,” McLaughlin explains. “They were able to do that again as juniors. These guys have had some memorable moments and it’ll be sad to see them move on. I think the rest of the state will be happy, but I will be sad.”