Cardinal Newman’s boys and girls soccer teams head to Charleston on Saturday on a mission to come home with Class 3A SCISA championships in hand. The opposition in both game is Pinewood Prep.
The boys championship bout at Porter-Gaud is scheduled to begin at high noon. The girls game starts at 10 a.m.
The Cardinal boys enter ranked No. 1 with a 19-3-1 record and riding a 15-match winning streak. CN has not faltered against a SCISA foe this season, and should be plenty motivated. Will Eudy’s senior-dominated team still remembers the bitter feeling it had in the wake of last season’s 2-1 semifinal overtime loss to the imperious Panthers. Moreover, the current senior class has been eliminated by Pinewood in each of three previous playoff visits – twice in the semifinals, and in the 2007 championship match.
Cardinal Newman’s potent, balanced attack features Mike Beaudoin (17 goals), Thomas Winstead (14), Gabe Roland (12) and Nick O’Rourke (9). The Cards have tallied 75 goals to date, while surrendering 20. Keeper Timmy Cunningham sports a 0.70 goals against average and has posted nine shutouts.
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Pinewood Prep (22-3) earn a shot at winning its sixth straight state title by escaping from Hammond on Thursday with a 2-1 win over the Skyhawks. The Panthers saw their 60-game winning streak against SCISA team come to an end at Hammond on April 20, but are still the team to beat.
The CN girls (12-4) advanced to the state championship match by nipping St. Joseph’s 1-0 in Thursday’s semifinal clash. Cardinals all-state picks Alexa Barnes and Molly Rainwater came up big in the pressure outing. Barnes scored the only goal, while Rainwater posted her eighth shutout of the season. The Cards have not allowed a goal in two playoff outings, and only 14 on the season.
Barnes has been a scoring machine this season. The sophomore striker has accounted for 19 of the team’s 43 goals to date, and has tallied at least one goal in 14 of the team’s 16 matches.
Pinewood Prep (22-2) nipped Hilton Head Christian 1-0 in the semifinals to qualify for the state finals for the first time.
Cardina Newman's girls last won a state title in 2003. It's been nine years since the boys last ruled SCISA in 2000.