Cardinal Newman fell short of its ultimate goal of ending Pinewood Prep protracted reign in SCISA boys soccer, but the senior-dominated Cardinals had an outstanding season in 2009.
For the record, Cardinal Newman finished with a 19-4-1 mark, going 19-2 after opening the season with a 0-2-1 showing at the blue-chip Carolina Classic preseason tournament in Charleston. The only regular season loss was to Class 4A powerhouse Northwester, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation by a number of media outlets. But the fun (and a 16-match winning streak) came to an end in a 4-2 loss to Pinewood in the SCISA 3A title match.
“We fell a little bit short of our team goal of winning a state championship and that still stings a bit, but we had an exceptional season,” said CN coach Will Eudy. “We went undefeated in the region and at home so those are very important to our program and its goals each season.”
With seven senior starters graduating, the Cards are facing something of a rebuilding challenge similar to the one face this season by cross-town rival Hammond.
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“It will definitely be a different dynamic around here,” said Eudy. “I have coached most of these graduating seniors since they were 13 years old. I’m excited by the possibilities of the 2010 team. I can tell you that we won’t lower our goals or standards just because we are going to be young. We just have to get back to work. I think we will have great senior leadership and we have some exciting young players coming up.”
The key returning players next season are Nick O'Rourke, Timmy Cunningham and Zach Hrovat, who were all named to the all-region team along with seniors Mike Beaudoin, Gabe Roldan, Ryan Zurcher and Thomas Winstead. Joey Schiano is another key returning starter.
O’Rourke was named the region player of the year, while Cunningham was cited as the region’s keeper of the year.
The other departing senior starters are Adam Touma, Davis Lemon and Talley Lattimore.