SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Erik Hurtado celebrated Senior Day at Buck Shaw Stadium by scoring two exceptional goals in the first half, then capped off the afternoon by converting a penalty kick in the closing moments, leading Santa Clara University to a 3-1 victory over Gonzaga University in West Coast Conference men's soccer action.
Hurtado – a product of Beaverton, Oregon's Westview High School and a preseason All-America pick in 2012 – has earned the distinction of being one of the best offensive players to ever wear a Bronco uniform.
His unassisted effort in the 14th-minute moved him into No. 3 all-time at SCU in goals scored and his career total of 32 is the most by any Bronco player since 1979 when Scott Douglas finished his career with 40.
"It was Senior Day today so we had to go out and work hard, and as always on Senior Day you want to get the win," Hurtado said. "Some of the parents have to travel so far to come and visit. That loss against Portland was upsetting, so we needed this game to reset ourselves and get us going for the second half of the (WCC) season."
Upset indeed may be the right word to describe how Santa Clara (9-6-0; 6-2-0 WCC) felt after its 2-1 double-overtime loss to the University of Portland Friday night. The Pilots scored with :25 seconds remaining to put the Broncos one game behind the University of San Diego in the WCC standings.
Hurtado was set up nicely for goal number one Sunday against the Zags – just seven minutes after the opening whistle – when freshman teammate Ryan Masch laid off a pass to Hurtado inside the box. SCU never trailed and was in command throughout. When Hurtado blasted in goal number two, he went over and hugged his mother, Nicole.
"It meant a lot to have her here," Hurtado said. "I would not be here today if it wasn't for my parents, my mom, my dad who could not make it, my brother and sister, have all been so supportive. I was just happy to get a hat trick for her. When I was younger I used to get a lot of hat tricks, obviously not at the DI level. She always tells me every game, even though it's not likely, to get a hat trick; that she wants a hat trick."
Gonzaga (4-11-0; 0-8-0 WCC) pulled within 2-1 by halftime on an unassisted breakaway goal from Zach Hamer. The Zags played the Broncos tough, fighting and threatening up until the 2-minute mark when they were whistled for a foul in the box, allowing Hurtado the penalty kick and the chance to put the game away.
"I was just talking with Danny Maeda, one of the seniors, about our official (recruiting) visit when we were in high school," Hurtado said. "We watched (SCU) play and now years later its our Senior Day. It just goes by so fast."
Hurtado's hat trick Sunday was the first of his outstanding collegiate career. One of the NCAA's top offensive players this season, Hurtado entered the week ranked among the nation's top 10 in goals, points, goals per game and points per game. His 14 goals this season puts him at No. 4 all-time in the program's single-season history.
SCU has now won 8 of 10 games overall and its record at home against Gonzaga improves to 11-2-2 all-time. On Halloween night, Wednesday, October 31, the Broncos will host St. Mary's College in the team's 2012 home finale.
June 5, 2013 Hanley Has High Hopes for Men’s Soccer Next Season
March 7, 2013 Santa Clara Men's Soccer Announces 2013 Spring Schedule
February 5, 2013 Santa Clara Soccer Academy Announces 2013 Camp Dates and Schedule
January 24, 2013 2012 Season Highlights: 24 Winning Seasons in 26 Years
December 13, 2012 EYEBRONCO: Hurtado and Jackson Invited to MLS Combine
November 11, 2012 Santa Clara Wraps Up Regular Season with 3-2 Win at USD
November 9, 2012 Santa Clara Ties LMU, San Diego Goes on to Clinch WCC Title
November 9, 2012 Sophomore Glenn Vass Named to WCC All-Academic Team
November 7, 2012 Santa Clara and San Diego Playing for WCC Soccer Championship
November 3, 2012 Improbable Ending Moves Santa Clara to 7-2-1 in WCC
November 2, 2012 Carlos Montes Emerging as One of the League's Top Players
November 1, 2012 Halloween Night at Buck Shaw Has SCU-SMC Draw 0-0
October 29, 2012 National Team of the Week Honors Given to SCU's Erik Hurtado
October 28, 2012 Erik Hurtado's Hat Trick Allows SCU Eighth Win in Ten Games
October 27, 2012 Late Goal Lifts Portland Past Santa Clara Friday Night 2-1
October 26, 2012 Finishing Strong: Danny Maeda Reflects Back on His SCU Career
October 15, 2012 Keigo Kameya, Erik Hurtado Honored as WCC’s Top Performers
October 14, 2012 Broncos Blank Zags, Sweep Two-Game Trip to the Northwest
October 11, 2012 WCC Men's Soccer: Santa Clara Battles Portland for First Place
October 8, 2012 Erik Hurtado Scores Twice, Santa Clara Tops San Francisco 2-1
October 3, 2012 Overtime Goal Pushes St. Mary's Past Santa Clara 1-0
October 2, 2012 Santa Clara Men's Soccer Preps for Rivalry Games vs. SMC, USF
October 1, 2012 Erik Hurtado Earns WCC Men's Soccer's Top Weekly Honor
September 30, 2012 SCU Bronco Soccer Wins Again, Beating LMU 1-0 Sunday
September 29, 2012 Santa Clara Looks Sharp in WCC-Opening Win Over USD
September 20, 2012 Friday Night Soccer Doubleheader Begins with SCU-NJIT
September 17, 2012 Santa Clara Earns Key Road Victory Over Stanford, 2-1
September 17, 2012 Freshman Ryan Masch Named the WCC Men's Soccer Player of the Week
September 12, 2012 Santa Clara Aims to Capitalize on Chances Sunday Night at Stanford
September 10, 2012 San Jose State Gets Rare Win Over Santa Clara at Buck Shaw
September 8, 2012 No. 3 Creighton Breaks Through In Second Half, Tops SCU 1-0
September 2, 2012 SCU Topped by N.C. State; Return Home to Host No. 2 Creighton
August 25, 2012 Cal Edges Santa Clara 2-1 in Bay Area Classic
August 19, 2012 Broncos Ease Into 2012 Season During Exhibition with Mustangs
August 16, 2012 SCU Men's Soccer Hosts Exhibition Saturday Night vs. Cal Poly
August 1, 2012 Santa Clara, MLS Star Mehdi Ballouchy Returns to Buck Shaw