Over the past three weeks, Jacob Lysik and Tyler Massa have become unstoppable.
The Lincoln-Way Central seniors have been piling up goals and assists at an astronomical rate.
The Knights entered Tuesday on an eight-game winning streak. In those eight games, Lysik scored 17 goals, Massa 12.
For the season, Massa is up to 29 goals ,with Lysik right behind with 27.
“I feel like we’re playing amazing right now,” Massa said. “We just have to keep it going the rest of conference season and into the playoffs.”
The pair have quite the connection at the top of the Central attack. The majority of their goals of late have been assisted by the other.
“We know what to expect from each other,” Lysik said. “He knows what run I’m going to make and when I’m going to make it and knows where to pass me the ball. Same with me passing to him.”
That anticipation has grown over time. Lysik and Massa have known one another since fourth grade.
“We started playing together in recess in fourth grade,” Lysik said. “We used to be a club team together. We’ve played together a long time, and we’re pretty good friends outside of soccer, too.”
Massa said he and Lysik have different strengths.
“He’s more speed, I’m more touch,” Massa said. “We have a lot of trust in each other. I know if he has the ball on his feet he’s going to make something happen. He knows if I have the ball I’m going to do something with it.”
Central coach Sean Fahey has been the beneficiary of the pair’s chemistry.
“Those two are just playing at another level right now,” Fahey said. “They play so well together. They’re really tough to stop.”
Lysik and Massa will keep their partnership going at the next level as well. Both have committed to Eastern Illinois.
“We both went to their camp over the summer,” Massa said. “They saw us there and we just kept talking to them and then we went down for a visit and decided to go there.”
“It’s the perfect combination of soccer and academics I was looking for,” Lysik said. “I wasn’t making my decision based on (Massa). It’s what was best for me. Having him going there, too, is a nice bonus.”
First, they’ll try to finish their senior seasons strong, with their confidence at an all-time high.
“In the beginning of the year, I wasn’t putting much in and I was like ‘Oh, my God,’ ” Lysik said. “Then I had that last week where I had three hat tricks and all of a sudden my confidence is high and I feel like I can score against anyone.
“We’re all really confident as a team right now. I’ve never had this feeling with a team before. It’s our senior year. We have to make a statement.”