October 17, 2012
Huftalin leads Marquette to another win
PITTSBURGH – Senior Andy Huftalin recorded six points in the second half with two goals and two assists to help Marquette to a 4-0 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday night at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
Marquette improves to 13-1-0 (4-1-0 Big East), while Pitt falls to 6-7-2 (0-6-0)
Following a lackluster first half the Golden Eagles responded by opening the scoring with two goals 13 seconds apart in the 50th minute. MU remains atop the BIG EAST Blue Division standings with the victory, tied for first place with 12 points in league play along with Connecticut and Georgetown which also won their respective conference matches on Wednesday.
“I came out tonight wanting to make a difference in the game,” Huftalin said after the match. “Two goals felt great; as for the assists, I’ve always taken pride in my ability to create, so it was nice to add that dimension to our offense tonight.”
Huftalin played it back to junior midfielder Bryan Ciesiulka, who was all alone inside the top of the box, and Ciesiulka’s one-touch strike from 15 yards gave Marquette a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute.
Pittsburgh immediately turned it over on the reset. The ball was controlled by Huftalin. Huftalin got past his defender to force a one-on-one with Panthers goalkeeper Lee Johnston, and the senior striker placed it into the left corner of the net to quickly make it 2-0 in favor of the Golden Eagles.
Ciesiulka and Huftalin also connected on MU’s third goal of the match. A shot by Ciesiulka from the left wing was finished off with a Huftalin header in front of the net, extending MU’s lead to 3-0 in the 78th minute.
Marquette then made it 4-0 in the 87th minute when a shot by Huftalin was deflected by a Pittsburgh defender where it was cleaned up by Robb from the right corner of the box.
“At halftime, we established that we had to do a much better job at not just threating to be dangerous, but to come out with something on the other end – there had to be a quality in the final third,” said head coach Louis Bennett. “We completed a lot of things in the second half that we started in the first half.”
Huftalin, who had a hand in all four of Marquette’s goals including a pair of assists, tallied his team-leading eighth and ninth goals of the season.
Meanwhile, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Charlie Lyon posted his eighth clean sheet of the campaign. Lyon is two shutouts shy of matching the MU single-season record set by Steve McCullough (10) in 1994.
Despite out-shooting the Panthers 8-3 in the opening half, Marquette was unable to convert on its chances. The Golden Eagles were able to build from the back and play through the midfield effectively, but when it came time to the attacking third, MU was unable to connect in the box.
Marquette ended up out-shooting the home side 21-5 in the match. It marks the fourth time this season that the Golden Eagles have attempted 20 shots or more. Pitt goalkeeper Lee Johnson made seven saves in 81:20, allowing three goals, while Mark Hast went the rest of the way, allowing one goal and making no saves.
Marquette returns to Valley Fields this Saturday, Oct. 20, to host Seton Hall at 1:05 p.m. Central time.