Former goalie discovers Lucatorto, coaches him

Former goalie discovers Lucatorto, coaches him

Kyle Weaver, Senior Staff Writer

Goalkeepers are the only position on the soccer field with a different objective. Instead of scoring goals, it is their job to stop any shot that gets through the defense.

Junior goalkeeper for the UW-Whitewater men’s soccer team, Chris Lucatorto, enjoys his unique position, and his play this season speaks for itself.

“What I enjoy most about playing goalkeeper is helping the guys in front of me,” Lucatorto said. “I’m the one who’s trying not to score all the time but rather doing all I can to keep the ball out of the net.”

Lucatorto has been playing soccer his whole life.

During his middle school years, he started to get more involved in travel teams. He played club soccer and joined US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Programs.

A native of St. Charles, Illinois, Lucatorto attended St. Charles East High School where he was an All-Sectional selection in 2013 and Honorable Mention in 2012.

Lucatorto chose to attend UW-W after Head Coach Tony Guinn visited St. Charles going into his senior year of high school.

“Whitewater just felt like home to me,” Lucatorto said. “Coach Guinn just really convinced me to come here.”

Assistant coach Josh Rohde was the starting goalkeeper on the team when Lucatorto arrived as a freshman. After meeting Lucatorto, he saw his potential.

“I was working at a camp my junior year and Chris was one of the goalkeepers there,” Rohde said. “I told Tony (Guinn) to take a look at him, and I found out he committed. Next thing I know, we’re competing side by side.”

Upon arriving at UW-W, Lucatorto played sparingly during his freshman and sophomore seasons. He made five appearances in 2014 posting a record of 1-1. In 2015, he appeared in six matches with a 1-0 record.

In the 2015 NCAA Tournament against Rose-Hulman (Indiana), Lucatorto was brought in during a penalty shootout and forced two missed shots out of five to help the ’Hawks advance to the second round. 

“That was nerve racking, it was a big moment in that season and my biggest contribution during that season,” Lucatorto said. “But it really helped prepare me for this season and overall helped shape me as a player.”

After being the top goalkeeper on teams growing up, Lucatorto  admitted it was tough to come to college and have to wait his turn.

“It was tough having to wait after always starting in high school,” Lucatorto said. “I had to wait my time and it was the best thing for me because I’ve come into this season more prepared, and I’m having a good season so far.”

Lucatorto has been the model of consistency in front of goal for the Warhawks starting all 17 games and logging 1528 out of 1590 total minutes.  He’s posted a save percentage of  .828 and has three shutouts at this point in the season.

Lucatorto recorded a career and season high 12 saves against Simpson College (Iowa) on Oct. 3.

Rohde commends Lucatorto’s ability to make his presence felt on the field.

“He’s very mobile and commands his area of the field very well given that he’s a bigger guy,” Rohde said. “He’s very athletic for that size as well. He can move horizontally and vertically very quickly.”

Outside of soccer, Lucatorto enjoys spending time with his teammates and lifting weights. He says finding time for school is the most important priority which makes him very busy, which limits his free time.

Lucatorto is focused on the team’s success and with a 10-4-3 record and three games to play. He is hoping the team can make a late season push for a NCAA Tournament bid.

“If we can win out the rest of the way there’s no doubt in my mind we can be a team that can go to the national championship,” Lucatorto said.

Rohde has had the unique opportunity to be Lucatorto’s teammate and coach. He’s seen him arrive as a freshman and mature into the starting goalkeeper. Lucatorto’s maturity level is what Rohde says will help him to continue to improve.

“As a coach you hope that your players continue to improve and every year Chris has gotten better,” Rohde said. “And I think he has the potential to go as far as he wants with his athletic endeavors.”