(Notre Dame, IN) The 2009 men's and women's soccer teams experienced a variety of surprises throughout their seasons. Perhaps the biggest surprise came after the players had hung up their cleats for the winter.
Both teams received the Karl Boeck Sportsmanship Award for the 2009 soccer season. This award is given to the team that displays the best sportsmanship during the course of a season. Karl Boeck was the official assignor prior to Ed Braun for the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
Boeck fought a courageous battle with cancer, but would eventually lose the fight. However, in Boeck's honor the CCAC has carried on his name through this award given out at the conclusion of each season.
Struggling with injuries throughout the year the women's team often times were forced to play with no substitutions or even down players. Despite this obstacle, the Saints persevered displaying class and an unwillingness to give up no matter the situation. This was most prevalent on September 1st
, against neighboring St. Mary's College. The Saints were forced to start the game with only 10 players, and were under constant attack. The Saints lost two more players and gave up three goals in the half, but Head Coach Carlos Reynolds had his eight remaining players ready for the second half. The Saints shut down St. Mary's for the remaining 45 minutes. That single half showed the true character of the team and carried them through the remainder of the season.
The one thing that was not lacking in the 2009 men's soccer team was its heart. First year Head Coach Dustan Harley had the Saints competitive in every game. They were able to break through on October 3rd, in a CCAC game against Calumet College of St. Joseph. Junior Dan Hatfield scored for the Saints in the 40th minute to put the Saints up for good and earning their first CCAC win.
In the last game of the year the Saints traveled to the University of St. Francis (IL). USF needed a win for a birth to the CCAC tournament. However, Holy Cross had different plans for their conference foes. The Saints jumped out on USF, exploding for 4 first half goals in route to their largest victory of the season.
"Although we finished many games behind on the scoreboard these guys were rarely outworked or competed against a team with more heart," said Head Coach Dustan Harley. "I am very proud of these young men and I can't say enough about their work ethic. I would like to thank the CCAC for this honor and appreciate my fellow coaches for noticing the hard work this team put in this season."
The Karl Boeck Sportsmanship Award is a true testament of excellence of the Holy Cross players and coaches. The 2009 Holy Cross soccer teams showed us all the true spirit of sport.