Ever since they were kids playing against each other, Andy Huftalin and Adam Lysak’s non-stop styles set them apart.
Now that they are bringing that same attitude to the field for Marquette, the Golden Eagles are reaping the benefits.
“Ever since we’ve been little, we’ve played with and against each other and always brought that same attitude,” Lysak said. “I remember whenever we played against each other, we always clashed heads.”
Huftalin has seven goals on the season, and Lysak has four goals and four assists. In their fourth season with the program, they both knew if they were to make an impact, it had to be this season.
“It was definitely make or break,” Lysak said. “It’s time to show our team what we’re capable of. I know ‘Hufty’ came in with the same attitude, and I guess in that sense we did come in with a chip on our shoulder, and we knew it would make us successful.”
Huftalin’s role in the offense is to get in the 18-yard box and cause havoc. While he doesn’t really see much of the ball, Huftalin knows his role on the team and is executing it very well.
“It’s actually very surprising how much I’m not really involved in the offense up until the last third of the field,” Huftalin said. “I’ll help out when I can, but mainly my job is to find my holes and runs in the box, and when the ball is served in I’m supposed to score.”
The senior forward is showing the potential coach Louis Bennett saw right away. The former Winnebago High School standout is the all-time leader in Illinois high school soccer history with 118 assists, and he ranks seventh with 134 goals.
While he didn’t progress as quickly as he would have liked, Huftalin is now playing the way he did prior to arriving at Marquette, Bennett says.
“It’s taken him a little bit of time to adjust to college and us to adjust to him and to help him find who he was,” Bennett said. “When we saw him play, I love the fact that he was very straightforward, very simplistic, and you got what you saw.”
Lysak’s success this season is due to a switch to midfield where he has more time to attack defenders with the ball. He scored one goal and assisted another in the team’s win against then-No. 2 Connecticut. Bennett called his overall performance “one of the best of the season.”
Having played together and known each other for a long time, Huftalin and Lysak are happy for the other’s success and knew it was only a matter of time before they broke into the Marquette team.
“Adam and I have both been through our ups and downs in our careers here,” Huftalin said. “He’s been searching for a while for his spot on the field where he can show what he can do on the field and show his potential.”
“I knew it was a matter of time for him,” Lysak said about Huftalin. “I’ve seen what he’s capable of, and the work he puts in is unreal. He never stops working. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been playing or how many training sessions we’ve had in a week. When it comes to game time he just won’t stop working.”
Whether or not they are playing well, there is one thing about Huftalin and Lysak’s game that can’t be taught, Huftalin says.
“You can always count on Adam and me to play our hearts out and do the best we can.”