You’ve got to hand it to Cardinal Newman boys soccer coach Will Eudy. Rather than pad his schedule with easy marks for his talented, veteran team that has designs on challenging for the SCISA state championship this spring, Eudy has lined up a demanding non-region schedule.
First, the Cardinals traveled to Charleston for the annual Carolina Classic preseason tournament at Patriots Point. CN emerged from the high-quality tournament with a 0-2-1 recod, losing to 4A Fort Mill 3-0, 4A fourth-ranked Wando 1-0 and coming away with a 1-1 draw against 3A Hilton Head.
The biggest challenge of all comes on Tuesday. The Cardinals were bold enough to accept a game in Rock Hill against defending 4A state champion Northwestern, which is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN.
Mike Beaudoin and Gabe Rodan have been the leaders up front so far. Beaudoin six goals on the books – posting a hat trick in a 10-0 SCISA Region 3-2A win over Augusta Christian, adding two in a 5-0 SCISA non-region conquest of Thomas Sumter and tallying the lone CN goal at the Carolina Classic. Rodan had a hat trick vs. Augusta Christian and one goal vs. Thomas Sumter.
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Nick O’Rourke and Thomas Winstead had the Cardinals goals in a 3-1 win on Friday against 3A Dreher. O’Rourke has two goals to date.
Timmy Cunningham has played well in goal.
The Cardinals, who entered the season ranked No. 2 in SCISA behind reigning independent school power Pinewood Prep, have more interesting non-SCISA matches on tap against neighboring A.C. Flora, Academic Magnet and Chapin.