With members of past teams watching on from behind the bench, the Cardinal Newman boys soccer team added another trophy for the program Saturday.
The Cardinals defeated Porter-Gaud 3-0 to win the SCISA 3A championship at Sebastian Stadium. The championship was Cardinal Newman’s third since 2016 and 11th overall.
Of Cardinal Newman’s 11 championships, seven have come since coach Will Eudy arrived in 2006. It took five years to win the first title, but now the program has established itself as the premier boys program in SCISA.
More than 30 former players turned out to Saturday’s championship, including members of Eudy’s first title team in 2011 and those from the 2020 squad that had its season cut short because of COVID-19. Eudy had those 2020 team members in attendance participate in the postgame trophy ceremony with this year’s senior group.
“We always told our seniors, it is your eight steps to get the trophy,” Eudy said. “That is something we always have done. So they got to go and do it. It doesn’t replace playing the game but at least they got something out of it.”
After receiving the trophy and championship medals, Eudy gathered this year’s team and all former alumni in a circle and stressed the importance of their role in helping build the program.
“This is what it is all about,” said Eudy, who was emotional during the two-minute speech. “We had guys who played at the highest level, we had guys who played one time for us. We got it all. That is what makes it so special. I’m really proud of everybody and just wanted to say thank you.”
The Cardinals had a dominant run in the postseason in winning the title, outscoring its three opponents 14-0.
Cardinal Newman started out fast on Owen Trimmie’s goal in the sixth minute. It stayed 1-0 at halftime despite the Cardinals controlling the action.
Cardinal Newman outshot the Cyclones, 11-0, in the first half.
In the second half, Cardinal Newman scored twice in a four-minute span to put the match away. Noah Cunningham headed one home in the 62nd minute and Matthew Harrison added a goal in the 66th minute.
“The second half, the coaches pulled us aside and instilled that confidence in us,” Trimmier said. “Yesterday, they told us we were the better team and it pushed us to get those two more goals to seal the deal.”