Cards stay on top: Cardinal Newman boys soccer wins second straight title

·3 min read

The Cardinal Newman boys soccer team felt right at home Saturday, even though it wasn’t the home team in the SCISA 3A state championship game.

The Cardinals shut out Hammond, 3-0, at St. Sebastian Field to claim their second straight title, and third in past four years. There was no 2020 championship due to COVID-19.

“I think if you asked the boys and they saw Hammond was in the brackets on the other side, and they’d say, ‘well, that’s the game,’ that’s what we want,” Cardinal Newman coach Will Eudy said. “It worked out well. Credit to Hammond, they played hard the whole game until the last second. They were really good today. We just had a little bit more in the tank than they did.”

It’s Cardinal Newman’s 10th state title in school history and eighth under Eudy, who has coached at the school since 2006.

“Great kids, great parents, great administration is the secret, I believe,” Eudy said. “Just having good people around you and believing in you when you started. We have parents and kids buy into it, great staff. My assistant Benji Poston has been with me since day one. I’m really appreciative of him.”

Hammond, which was going for its seventh state title and first since 2018, beat Cardinal Newman 1-0 on May 5. In that game, Eudy said, they played well but didn’t score any goals.

“We weren’t forceful enough and didn’t try from the get-go,” he said about the previous game. “Tonight we got one seven minutes in on a great play that got the ball out to Adam Trimmier and he finished it really well.”

Trimmier, a junior, battled past three Hammond defenders on the right corner of the goalkeeper box, then broke free and fired a shot that escaped the reach of Hammond goalkeeper Cal McQueen.

“The ref could have called a foul (against Hammond) but I ran through and scored that goal,” Trimmier said. “Then I ran over to everyone, the fans, the students, the family. It felt great to do that.”

For the rest of the first half, Cardinal Newman battled in Hammond territory trying to add to its lead, while the Skyhawks managed a few breakaways but couldn’t score.

Trimmier struck again in the second half. At the 48th minute, he broke away from coverage and drew out McQueen. Once he sidestepped McQueen, Trimmer fired a goal into the empty net to make it 2-0.

Connor Grassinger scored the Cardinals’ third goal in the 56th minute. He made a soft kick about 20 yards from the goal that bounced into the net after McQueen lunged past the right upright bar.

After that score Cardinal Newman kept attacking the net but not more goals were necessary. Trimmier’s night, and the team’s victory, was already sealed.

“It means a lot,” Trimmier said about this championship. “I missed a penalty (kick) against North Augusta earlier (in the season), and the coach told me bigger things would come. He was right. Doing this in the final, he was right, and he always is.”

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