Men’s soccer still undefeated in spring play

Sophomore forward Adam Lysak has scored six goals in four games this spring season. Photo by Ryan Glazier / [email protected]

This past Saturday, the Marquette men’s soccer team defeated the Cardinal Stritch Crusaders 4-0 and the Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers 3-0 in the first set of spring matches at Valley Fields since spring break to remain undefeated in spring soccer play.

The team split itself in two for the two matches with the “Blue Squad” playing against the Crusaders and the Rangers playing the “Gold Squad.”

Sophomore forward Andy Huftalin provided most of the offense against the Crusaders, scoring three of the team’s four goals in the first half. The Marquette defense faced little opposition from the Crusaders.

“I think we smothered Cardinal Stritch; they didn’t have an opportunity really,” Bennett said. “I think our goalkeeper only had one shot.”

The Parkside game provided a unique opportunity for Marquette.

“Parkside is traditionally a very talented Division II team,” Bennett said. “They have already beaten two Division I teams this spring. They are very well coached by Rick Clips, who is in the (Wisconsin Soccer Coaches’) Hall of Fame. So every time they come down here, they want to prove that they are as good as us.”

The first half of the game was played mostly in Marquette’s defensive end, with limited offensive threats from Parkside.

As soon as the second half came and the two teams changed sides, Marquette got offensive and began attacking. When asked what sparked the halftime change in, Bennett credited the elements.

“The wind played a major factor in our game because it affected our ability to play the long ball,” Bennett said.  “We kept possession in our half because we wanted to maintain control of the game.”

Marquette scored three goals in the second half against Parkside. Scoring for Marquette were sophomore forward Adam Lysak, who scored his sixth goal of the spring season to lead all Marquette scorers, and freshman defenseman Axel Sjoberg, who scored his first goal in a Marquette uniform.

“(Adam) is very, very hungry. He’s healthier than he has ever been,” Bennett said. “He has finally got a college body after redshirting this past season. He has always been able to score at a high rate, but he was a lightweight, so he got knocked around a bit. Now with his conditioning, he is able to use his skill set better.”

Though he has led the Marquette attack all spring, Lysak won’t let the success go to his head.

“I just keep trying to improve technically and I hope that this is just a stepping stone for me to bigger things,” Lysak said.

As for Sjoberg, he was really excited to get his first goal in a Marquette uniform.

“It was great. It definitely was a great goal, and it was really fun,” Sjoberg said. “I like to score so hopefully there will be more to come.”

Marquette hopes Sjoberg will be able to fill the void left by junior defenseman Scott Miller’s departure from the program due to concussions. Bennett said that Sjoberg, when paired with freshman defenseman Eric Pothast, will become a defensive force for Marquette for years to come.

Marquette returns to action on April 17, with matches against Viterbo and Wisconsin-Madison.