The Cardinal Newman boys picked a good time to play its best soccer of the season.
After a 2-5 start, the Cardinals have won three matches in a row and look to continue that streak on Wednesday as they begin play in the 24th annual Nike Palmetto Cup at Brookland-Cayce.
The Cardinals open up against Spring Valley and are the defending champion of the event. Cardinal Newman defeated Brookland-Cayce 4-2 in the title match and it served as a catalyst to winning its third straight SCISA Class 3A championship.
“It is a big tournament and widely known. I used to coach at B-C so I know how important it is and how much effort goes into it. It is a big deal any time we can play in this,” Cardinal Newman coach Will Eudy said. “We come in a different team and aren’t as dominant as we were last year, but we are playing as well as we have played all season.”
The Cardinals lost 11 seniors from last year’s squad, including three that went on to play Division I soccer. Cardinal Newman also has been without some key players for some of the season including sophomore Will Chontos and Ross Gervasi. Chontos, a sophomore, scored two goals in his return to the lineup and was named to the Capital City Cup all-tournament team earlier this year.
Junior Wyatt Millard, who recently committed to Navy, also has been a key contributor for the Cardinals and had two goals in a win over Heathwood Hall two weeks ago.
Cardinal Newman is in a group with Spring Valley and Clover and is one of five Midlands teams in the event. The others are Lexington, Spring Valley, Blythewood and host Brookland-Cayce.
The rest of the field includes Christ Church, Wando, Clover, Bishop England, Fort Mill, South Aiken, Westside, Rock Hill and Immaculate Conception Academy from Puerto Rico. It is the second straight appearance for Immaculate Conception.
Wando, Bishop England and Christ Church are No. 1 in their classifications and the other teams from South Carolina all are ranked in the latest South Carolina High School.
“This is a good measuring stick and comparison to see where we stand with some of the top public schools in the state,” Eudy said. “It is going to be a good test for us.”
Noon – Brookland-Cayce vs. Rock Hill @ Stadium
2 p.m. – Cardinal Newman vs. Spring Valley @ Stadium
4 p.m. – Lexington vs. Clover @ Stadium
4 p.m. – Bishop England vs. Westside @ The Cage
6 p.m. – Christ Church vs. Wando @ Stadium
6 p.m. – Fort Mill vs. South Aiken @ The Cage
8 p.m. – Blythewood vs. Immaculate Conception Academy @ Stadium
Noon – Immaculate Conception Academy vs. Brookland-Cayce @ Stadium
2 p.m. – Clover vs. Cardinal Newman @ Stadium
4 p.m. – Westside vs. Fort Mill @ Stadium
6 p.m. – Rock Hill vs. Blythewood @ Stadium
6 p.m. – Christ Church vs. Lexington @ The Cage
8 p.m. – Spring Valley vs. Wando @ Stadium
8 p.m. – South Aiken vs. Bishop England @ The Cage
Noon – Brookland-Cayce vs. Blythewood @
2 p.m. – Cardinal Newman vs. Christ Church @ Stadium
4 p.m. – Spring Valley vs. Clover @
6 p.m. – Fort Mill vs. Bishop England @
6 p.m. – Rock Hill vs. Immaculate Conception Academy @ The Cage
8 p.m. – Wando vs. Lexington @ Stadium
8 p.m. – South Aiken vs. Westside @ The Cage
Noon – C4 vs. D4 @ Stadium
10:30 a.m. – C1 vs. D1 (Semifinals) @ Stadium
10:30 a.m. –A1 vs. B1 (Semifinals) @ The Cage
Noon – C3 vs. D3 @ Stadium
Noon – A3 vs. B3 @ The Cage
1:30 p.m. – C2 vs. D2 @ Stadium
1:30 p.m. – A2 vs. B2 @ The Cage
3 p.m. – C1/D1 Winner vs. A1/B1 Winner (Championship) @ Stadium
Group A – Christ Church, Lexington, Wando
Group B – Cardinal Newman, Clover, Spring Valley
Group C – Bishop England, Fort Mill, South Aiken, Westside
Group D – Blythewood, Brookland-Cayce, Immaculate Conception Academy (PR), Rock Hill