Cardinal Newman’s Koty Millard put on a show Wednesday in his final game at George Watson Field, scoring two goals with one assist as the Cardinals defeated defending state champion Porter-Gaud 4-1 in the SCISA Class 3A boys soccer semifinals.
In the process, Will Eudy’s team erased any lingering bitterness over last season’s 1-0 semifinal home loss to Pinewood Prep in a match the Cardinals dominated everywhere but on the scoreboard.
“That game is the main reason why I came back to play high school this year,” said the South Carolina-bound Millard, who needed a waiver from his academy team to play this spring for the Cardinals.
“I didn’t want my career to end like that. It’s exciting to get this win and have a shot at a championship, but there’s also a little sadness because this is the last time for me on this field.”
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Millard, a swift midfielder who has played on two age-group national teams during his high school years, opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a nifty turnaround shot from just inside the box on the right side that caught the far left corner of the net.
He then set up what proved to be the game-winning score by Harrison Lapin in the 20th minute. It began with a long breakout run by Millard down the middle of the field and a deft pass to unmarked Lapin on the right side for an easy shot into the open left side of the goal.
“That right there was classic Koty,” Eudy said. “His game is roaming between the 18s and I’ve yet to see anybody who has the speed to stay with him without fouling when he gets it going.”
Millard closed the scoring in the final minute with a shot into an empty goal after keeper Gettys Moore got caught out of position.
Cardinal Newman (19-6-2) finished with a 23-7 edge in shots and a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The Cardinals square off against Pinewood Prep in the championship match on Saturday at the College of Charleston’s Patriots Point stadium. The Panthers defeated Hammond 3-1 in the other semifinal match.