Boys Soccer Player of the Year: Hinsdale Central’s Luca Davies made the most of short, record-setting career

Senior forward scored program record 26 goals this season

Hinsdale Central senior Luca Davies

Luca Davies made the best out of his short career.

The Hinsdale Central senior forward splashed his name all over the program’s record books in his brief two-year soccer career.

“I played junior varsity in my sophomore year,” Davies said. “I was just so excited my junior year to play varsity. I felt like I learned enough stuff, was feeling good and in a comfortable position. We had a strong team and they helped me push forward. I was ready for what was to come.”

Despite a late start, Davies was an impactful player who will be in the program’s history book for decades to come with his prodigious statistics.

Davies, the 2023 Suburban Life Boys Soccer Player of the Year, finished with 26 goals and three assists this season.

For his career, Davies racked up 45 goals to finish second all-time in the program for most goals in a career. His 98 points rank third all-time. His 55 points this season was third all-time for most points in a season. His 26 goals was the highest single-season total in program history, beating a mark set by Jack Smithson in 2003.

“It’s a speechless moment for me,” Davies said of his record-breaking career. “I’m still a little shocked what I’ve accomplished these two years. I’m really happy to leave my name in the school. It’s a great feeling. I wasn’t expecting any of this when I was a freshman or sophomore. I remember going to varsity games back then and seeing all of these great strikers get a lot of goals and thinking that was incredible.”

Hinsdale Central coach Michael Wiggins said Davies had a knack for performing well against elite opponents.

“He’s done really well in a short amount of time against really good competition,” Wiggins said. “There was a moment in time when I knew he had something special in him early on in his junior season. The games for Luca never got too big. Early on, we had a feeling something special was developing with his ability to score goals. You know how valuable it is when you have a player who has a knack for scoring goals.

“That’s what Luca does, not just the number of goals he scored, but games he scored in and timing of the goals. When you have that, you never feel you are out of the game. You always know there’s a chance. That’s what was so significant in what Luca gave us in his junior and senior year. He has a remarkable ability to find the back of the net at key times.”

Davies said marquee opponents bring out the best in him.

“I’m always there in big games,” he said. “I prepare for them in my mind. My mindset, I think, is a big thing. The team also really pushes me and helps me perform well in big games.”

Davies, who has lived in the Netherlands and Germany, learned to adapt quickly on the pitch. After moving to the U.S. five years ago, Davies relied on his prowess on the pitch to help him adapt to a new country, culture and style of play.

“Soccer here is definitely different,” he said. “It’s more direct. In Germany, where I last played, they possess the ball a lot more, with a lot of build-up play. Soccer really helped me make friends here faster. I already knew the language, so that made it easier for me.”

Davies said he’s still seeking his first college offer. His late varsity start, to go with a broken right leg that sidelined him for several months before the start of his senior season. has contributed to his slow recruiting. Davies said he was just happy to be cleared to play for the season opener.

“I’m still interested in playing (in college) and am still reaching out,” he said. “I’m trying to be an active player. I still have more time. I didn’t understand the whole college process at first.

“I felt I had something to prove this year. I wanted to prove I could still play after my injury. I have a high standard for myself. We had a lot of seniors on the team, so I was close to a lot of them and very comfortable with the team.”

Wiggins said Davies is a well-rounded player who impacted his program in a positive way beyond just statistics.

“We felt going into his junior year he would play a significant role for us,” Wiggins said. “We weren’t sure how it would play out. We knew he was very hardworking, aggressive and an attacking player. He’s so good with his back to the goal and has great awareness of time and space, especially in the final third. The way he’s able to turn his body inside and outside with his foot along with a great change of his speed and ability to accelerate and get behind backs and go into the goal is special.

“His ability to take players on and create chances makes him so dangerous. Teams always knew where he was. He’s got a relentless work rate and also defensively willing to put in the work and track the ball, win the ball back and get back into transition. He’s always encouraging his teammates and is positive and energetic.”

Bob Narang

Bob Narang is a contributing sports reporter to Shaw Local News Network