Hurtado Scores, Makes History
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 10:09
When senior forward Erik Hurtado steps on the soccer field, his goal is quite simple. “I just go out and try to score as many goals and get as many assists as I can,” said Hurtado, a preseason All-American.
His simple mindset was unchanged during Friday’s game against the New Jersey Institute of Technology, but what Hurtado accomplished that night was nothing simple.
In the fifth minute, Hurtado received a free kick from teammate Carlos Montes and headed it into the back of the net to give the Broncos an early 1-0 lead. What Hurtado didn’t realize at the time, was that it put him ahead of former Bronco Peter Lowry for seventh place on Santa Clara’s All-Time Goals List.
While discussing the change in the record books, 11th-year head coach, Cameron Rast, said, “The moment that Eric stepped on our campus and put on our uniform he’s been an impact guy for us.”
Hurtado had no idea about the milestone. “I don’t really keep track of that stuff,” he said.
For Hurtado, passing an All-American that made it to the pros felt great. “It just shows me that with hard work and determination I can be that kind of player,” he said. “Obviously I have to give credit to my teammates for giving me those opportunities to score and having my back when I take my chances.”
Hurtado and Lowry have a personal relationship, as Lowry has come back to Santa Clara to train with the team. Hurtado also spent time with him in Portland, Ore., where Lowry played with the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer. Hurtado was in Portland playing in a Premier Development League at the time. “After trainings, we would stay and practice finishing with each other,” Hurtado said. “We’re friends.”
Also friends are Hurtado and Montes, who assisted on Hurtado’s second goal of the night in the 70th minute as well. Even when they’re not connecting on the pitch, the two still spend a lot of time together as they are roommates.
“It’s always nice playing with someone who is like a brother,” said Hurtado. “You have that connection and you know where they’re going to be on the field. They’re going to play the ball at the right time.”
Montes, a junior, also relishes the opportunity to play with his roommate. “He’s a great player and great teammate,” said Montes. “I love playing with him because we just connect so well on the field.”
Rast has also benefited from Hurtado’s presense, something he felt right away four years ago.
“It’s rare that you can find a player that can impact a game the way that he can and he did it right off the bat,” said Rast. “When you find those guys, they’re worth their weight in gold because you know that you’re going to get a lot out of them in a four-year career.”
Rast also believes that Hurtado’s soccer career will continue when his time at Santa Clara is over. “I think he’s very talented and I still think he has potential to grow,” he said. “I think the collegiate game is a good challenge for him but I think there are bigger challenges out there. That’s what we’re waiting to see: what opportunities he may get.”
For the time being, though, Hurtado is thinking in the present. “Our first goal is to win the West Coast Conference championship,” he said. “Once that happens we want to make it to the Final Four. We think we’re that caliber of a team.”
The Broncos will take another step toward that goal when they open up league play this Friday night against the University of San Diego, the only team picked to finish ahead of Santa Clara in the WCC Preseason Coaches Poll. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Contact Chris Glennon at email@example.com or call (415) 246-0322.