Sports Information Director
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The 2013 Holy Cross men's soccer team entered the season with a number of goals, one being to win every game at home. Following their 6-2 victory over CCAC-foe Purdue Calumet on senior day, they can consider that mission accomplished. Three first half goals propelled the Saints with a great start on senior day, where they honored all four seniors prior to the start of the game, and helped them cruise to their program-best 12th win of the season and cap off a perfect 8-0 record at home. With a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) playoff berth already locked up, the Saints will now head into their series finale with a chance to host a quarterfinal matchup.
"Really proud of our team, especially this senior class," head coach Omar Gallo said. "They've done nothing but hard workers and great role models and leaders for our team. To see them go out with a milestone win like this is incredible."
The positive vibes started quickly for the Saints on senior day as Farkhod Kurbonov (Dushanbe, Tajikistan) got things going with a nifty finish in the box for his first goal of the season in the 10th minute. Simon Soto (South Bend, Ind.) continued the strong start in the 17th minute just before Kurbonov netted his second of the game in the 19th to open up a quick 3-0 lead for the Saints.
"We did a great job capitalizing early in the game," continued Gallo. "The guys played with great energy and really showed they wanted the game."
The shots were tied at 8-8 at the break but the Saints held the advantage on the scoreboard with the 3-0 lead.
The strong dominant play continued in the second half as the Saints scored three more goals, making it six unanswered, to open up a 6-0 lead. The hero from the first half, Farkhod Kurbonov, capped this rush off with his third of the game and first career hat trick.
Purdue Calumet scored two goals in the final five minutes of the match but the Saints were ultimately victorious. The team accomplished one of their preseason goals of going undefeated at home during the regular season, something that has never been done in Holy Cross Athletics history.
Freshman goalkeeper Iain McTurk (Copenhagen, Denmark) finished with five saves on the way to his program-best 10th win of the season.
Seniors Niko Jelicic (Sucuraj Croatia), TJ Hendzel (Lisle, Ill.), Farkhod Kurbonov and Garbhan Grant (Letterkenny, Ireland) got to leave their mark on the program with a perfect 8-0 home record and a program-best 12th win.
"This senior class has done so much for our program," Gallo continued. "They battled through adversity early in their careers and capped it off with a record-breaking season and a second consecutive berth in the conference playoffs. The leadership, determination and commitment to our program is truly something special.
"Farkhod is a prime example. His hard work and commitment to the team earned him the start tonight and he went out and score three big goals for us. It doesn't get much more special than that and I couldn't be happier for him. This group as a whole has done so much for us. Now it's our turn to continue this ride we're on and make some more memories."
The Saints (12-5, 7-3 CCAC) will wrap up the 2013 regular season on the road on Tuesday against Trinity International. The match is set to begin at 3:00 p.m. EST. Stay tuned for updates on CCAC Tournament seeding's this week as the quarterfinals begin next Saturday.