Cardinal Newman ended Pinewood Prep's seven-year reign as the SCISA Class AAA state boys soccer champions with a 3-0 victory in the state title match on Saturday at Porter-Gaud.
Sophomore Koty Milliard scored a goal and had an assist on Kyle Maitland's goal, and Nestor Jaramillo scored on a penalty kick, all coming in the second half, as the Cardinals finished 24-5 on the season.
The victory also ended a frustrating run for Cardinal Newman, which lost to Pinewood Prep in the last two state title games.
"Finally, our turn," said an elated Cardinal Newman coach Will Eudy. "We've worked so hard and waited so long to experience this kind of joy. It was a great final and Pinewood Prep played like the champions. Our guys just never quit. We hung in there and we did what we had to do. We came here determined to win."
Pinewood Prep ends the season with an 18-7 record under first-year head coach Temoc Suarez.
"It's disappointing to lose, but I'm very proud of these boys," said Suarez. "They fought to the end, and they gave it all they had out there. This was a great bunch of seniors who had a great run and I'm just really proud of them right now. We need to leave with our heads held high."
The championship match was a matchup of two of the top keepers in the state -- Pinewood Prep's Robert Beebe and Cardinal Newman's Timmy Cunningham.
Both keepers lived up to their billing in the first half as the two teams went scoreless despite several solid opportunities.
Cardinal Newman turned up the offensive pressure in the second half and broke through in the 51st minute of the match when Milliard drilled a shot through traffic and past Beebe in the upper left corner.
"We wanted to make them run in the second half," said Eudy. "We have some speed and we needed to put more pressure on them to run with us."
The Cardinals added a goal in the 62nd minute with Milliard delivering a perfect cross to Maitland, who flipped the ball into the net for a 2-0 lead.
Later, Jaramillo was tackled in the box just before unleashing a shot on goal. He then scored on a penalty kick in the 70th minute for a commanding three-goal advantage.
"Once they got the first goal, they got the momentum and we maybe dropped our heads a little," said Suarez. "In a big game like this, it's the way the ball bounces. They got some bounces, but they deserve to win."