Mercer Island soccer star Lucas Meek will go pro

January 20, 2022 | by Adam Willems

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Photo courtesy Lucas Meek / UW Athletics

Mercer Island native and co-captain of the University of Washington Men’s Soccer team Lucas Meek kicked off his junior season with three goals and three assists in three games, earning him awards as a regional and national “Player of the Week.” Then, the 6-foot-2 midfielder was sidelined with a broken collarbone.

While Meek would eventually return to the field and lead the Huskies’ charge into its first NCAA finals, much of his season was spent in the flanks – recovering from his injury and bolstering the reshuffled team’s morale.

“That was really challenging,” says Meek, who missed playing 10 games. “But it was amazing to see the rest of my team rise to the occasion, and be able to put together the best start in UW soccer program history.”

Photo courtesy Lucas Meek

A commitment to see the good in hard times helps Meek succeed, says Colin Rigby, his former coach at Mercer Island High School. “His good attitude always set him apart and set him up to crawl back to where he was, or even exceed where he was.”

Calling his positivity “contagious,” Rigby remembers Meek as a leader in both athletics and mentorship: an outstanding player, with 19 goals in 15 games; and a team leader who was the “heart and soul” of their locker room. His senior year, Meek chose to play with his best friends on Mercer Island’s high school team instead of committing to Sounders Academy, which Rigby believes transformed the rising star’s love for the sport into a superlative skillset. 

“Getting to play in front of all my friends was something that was really important for me and definitely gave me that joy of being able to find what soccer is about,” Meek says.

He plays on a different Lake Washington shore and in different team colors than he once did, but when he walked back onto the soccer field in late October for the first time after his collarbone injury, the audience chanted his name – among them, supporters wearing Mercer Island hats and scarves. Meek described the moment as “surreal.”

Photo courtesy Lucas Meek / UW Athletics

Buoyed by his teammates and community, Meek scored a decisive goal against Georgetown in December’s NCAA semifinals just six weeks later. “We were just playing for each other and playing for the joy of the moment,” he says. Scoring a goal in front of his family, traveling UW fans, and supporters online at such a crucial moment was a “dream come true.” 

The Huskies ultimately lost 2-0 to Clemson in the championship game. But Meek and his team remember their journey, the history they made, and the community that remained in their corner with gratitude.

Growing up, Meek drew inspiration from Mercer Island native and eventual Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris, who proved the rewards in hard work and dedication to team and craft. Meek is now following in Morris’s footsteps; a second-round pick in last week’s MLS draft, he’s joining Inter Miami CF after a final season at UW.

In his last year with the Huskies, Meek will undoubtedly continue mentoring teammates and the community alike. He’s often made use of the short drive to Mercer Island to coach youth rec leagues and camps, hoping to set an example to the island’s coming generations of soccer stars. Soon enough, he’ll do so from afar – transplanting the lessons he’s learned at UW and Mercer Island to sunnier, warmer shores.