Following two promising seasons in Evanston, Ugo Achara Jr. is transferring to Louisville for the remainder of his collegiate career.
Achara Jr. announced the news via Instagram on Wednesday evening.
This announcement comes as a big blow to Northwestern, as Achara Jr. is coming off a breakout sophomore year in which he was named as a First Team All-Big Ten selection and led the ‘Cats in goals scored. Northwestern struggled mightily this season, winning just two of their 11 contests in the modified spring 2021 season, and Achara Jr. served as one of the team’s lone bright spots. Now, new head coach Russell Payne will be tasked with filling the hole left by the team’s best player.
Achara Jr. was the first Wildcat to earn First Team All-Big Ten honors since 2014, with his five goals being good for second-most in the Big Ten. He most notably netted home a last-minute game-winner against Indiana on Feb. 27, leading the ‘Cats to their first win over the Hoosiers in over a decade.
GOAL! Achara with the final touch after the scramble! Northwestern finishes Indiana 1-0 to pick up the Cats first home win of 2021! #GoCats pic.twitter.com/6V22RWS81U— Northwestern MSoccer (@NUMensSoccer) February 27, 2021
The striker’s departure coincides with the retirement of 20-year head coach Tim Lenahan, who helped the men’s soccer program reach six NCAA Tournaments over the course of his tenure. Replacing these two will be no small task, and especially after Northwestern’s disappointing 2021 season, Payne and his players will have a lot of work to do this offseason to be competitive in the Big Ten once again.