Last Updated: Tue Oct 24, 2023 - 8:07PM
During his time at Mount Pleasant Area, Lucas Toohey thrived in two sports. In the fall, he was the catalyst for the Vikings soccer team, while he was instrumental to the basketball team during the winter. Opting to continue in soccer collegiately, Toohey is now a vital player for Westminster College as a junior. The former Vikings star is in focus in the latest installment of the Westmoreland Alum Q&A.
Toohey was a three-year letterwinner on the pitch for Mount Pleasant Area, beginning in his sophomore campaign in 2018. That year, the Vikes went 13-5-0 overall, including 9-3-0 in section play. Qualifying for the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs, Mount Pleasant Area defeated Freedom Area, but fell to Quaker Valley to conclude the season.
The next season, Mount Pleasant compiled a mark of 8-8-1, including 7-6-1, but missed the playoffs.
In Toohey’s senior campaign, however, the Vikings returned to prominence, with him leading the way. Toohey netted 23 goals and added seven assists, earning All-WPIAL accolades. As a result, Mount Pleasant Area went 13-2-0, including 11-1-0 in section action. Back in the WPIAL Class 2A postseason, the Vikings ousted Burrell and North Catholic, but lost to Deer Lakes in the semifinals.
For his play, Toohey was recognized twice as an All-Section performer, and he served as a team captain in his senior year. Meanwhile, he contributed significantly to the Vikings on the hardwood during his high school tenure.
Toohey’s future was on the pitch, however, as he matriculated to Westminster College and joined the Titans soccer team as a forward for the 2021 season. He was limited to just three games that year, registering two shots. The Titans enjoyed a successful campaign, as they went 12-9-0 overall, including 7-2-0 in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC). In the conference tournament, the Titans edged Geneva College, but lost to Franciscan 1-0 in the semifinals. Subsequently, Westminster received a bid for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament, but lost at Rutgers-Newark in the first round.
Last season, Toohey participated in 18 matches, including four starts. During that action, he posted three goals and four assists, firing 21 shots. Westminster amassed a record of 9-6-3, including 4-3-3 in the PAC. The Titans dropped a 1-0 contest against Geneva in the opening round of the PAC Tournament to conclude the campaign, though.
This fall, Toohey has played in 16 games, starting 11 of them. To this point, he’s registered three goals and three helpers, compiling 23 shots. Entering the final week of the regular season, the Titans are 4-8-4, including 1-7-1 in the PAC.
Lucas took time from his schedule to field questions about his biggest areas of growth during his time in college, his fondest memory at Mount Pleasant Area, and the best advice he ever received.
Q: You rank near the top of the team in most offensive categories, including goals and points. How have you excelled in that aspect?
A: I would say that the success I've had this season has resulted from simply letting the game come to me and sticking to my strengths, while continuing to set myself up in dangerous areas of the attacking third. By being in these dangerous areas and applying pressure to the opposing team's defense, my teammates have helped set me up for success and vice versa.
Q: What has been your biggest area of growth as a player during your time at Westminster?
A: I would have to say that my physicality level has served as my biggest area of growth. From freshman year to junior year, that is where I've seen the biggest change, as that was an area that I focused on addressing and bettering myself in from the start of freshman year to help adjust to the intense physicality levels of collegiate soccer.
Q: What are the biggest challenges of competing in the PAC?
A: The biggest challenges are that every team is competitive this season, and anyone can win on any given night. Also, the different formations and play styles that opponents operate under changes from game to game, therefore there is lots of game planning that goes into every game.
Q: What team and individual goals did you establish for this season?
A: Team - Our main focus was to rebuild a strong team culture and to display grit and determination throughout the season. Individual - To be the best version of myself, as well as the best team player I can be for my fellow teammates.
Q: What led to your decision to attend Westminster?
A: Westminster has always held a special place in our family, as there have been 10 individuals, including myself, who have attended the college. I also loved the small campus community, the atmosphere, and the opportunities for success academically and athletically.
Q: What is your major and ideal future profession?
A: Currently, I am working towards obtaining my Bachelor's Degree in accounting, finance, and business administration (triple major). My future plans upon graduation are to attend law school and become a lawyer.
Q: What has been your most challenging college course thus far?
A: I would have to say that Cost Accounting is my most advanced and challenging course thus far.
Q: You also played basketball at Mount Pleasant Area. Which skills translated between the two sports?
A: The main skills that correlated between soccer and basketball that I benefitted from significantly were court/field vision, decision-making, teamwork, and endurance and fitness.
Q: What was your fondest high school memory?
A: My fondest memory was during my senior year, whenever we made it to the WPIAL semifinals, the furthest in program history for a Mount Pleasant boys soccer team. The journey was so exciting, and to accomplish this feat playing alongside my best friends was the ultimate dream, even though the dream sadly fell short.
Q: Who was the best individual soccer player you faced in high school?
A: There were a lot of skilled individuals and athletes; it is hard to choose just one.
Q: If you could change one rule about college soccer, what would it be?
A: I would change the rules regarding overtime. I feel that during the regular season that teams should be able to compete in overtime, and if needed, shootouts. I'm not a fan of the game ending in a tie. I believe there should be a winner and a loser that results from every match.
Q: What is your favorite sports movie?
A: My favorite sports movies would have to be the Creed trilogy.
Q: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
A: Definitely steak, scalloped potatoes, and watermelon.
Q: What is the best advice you've ever received?
A: The best advice I've received would be "To play every second, minute, half, or game like it's your last and give it all the effort you have." We don't get to play sports for the rest of our lives; therefore, we don't want to look back on our playing days with regrets that we could've done more. This advice has fueled me this season, realizing that I most likely only have a season and a half left in my collegiate sports career.