Eduardo Moisa Membreno had a Saturday afternoon to remember. The Brookland-Cayce junior had a hat trick as the Bearcats jumped to an early lead and held on for a 4-2 victory over Daniel in the Class 3A boys soccer state championship.
The Bearcats (20-6) were in the finals for the first time since 2014. It was their fourth appearance overall but the first time they were able to raise the championship trophy.
Three early goals proved to be the difference. Membreno broke beyond the Lions defense and scored his 50th goal of the season just five minutes in to give Brookland-Cayce the early 1-0 lead.
A little over 10 minutes later, Membreno found himself behind the Daniel defense — goalkeeper included — to easily knock in his 51st goal of the season. Lawton Powers got into the act a few minutes later with a goal, and the Bearcats had a 3-0 lead with 28 minutes in.
Daniel (18-5) finally got on the board when Eddie Merck got the rebound off a free kick about five minutes before the half. Merck tallied his second goal five minutes into the second half, and they applied heavy pressure and just missed on a couple of scoring opportunities late.
Membreno then erased any doubt of the outcome with just over two minutes remaining. He got a pass about 70 yards away, beat four defenders into the box and flicked his third goal just past the diving Lions goalkeeper.
SC soccer championship scores, schedule
All games at Irmo High School
Class A Girls: St. Joseph’s 3, Southside Christian 0
Class 2A Boys: Christ Church 2, Andrew Jackson 0
Class A Boys: Southside Christian 2, Palmetto Scholars 1
Class 5A Girls: Wando 2, JL Mann 1 (OT)
Class 5A Boys: Riverside 4, Lexington 0
Class 3A Girls: Oceanside Collegiate 3, Daniel 1
Class 3A Boys: Brookland-Cayce 4, Daniel 2
Class 4A Girls: James Island vs. Catawba Ridge, 4 p.m. (late)
Class 4A Boys: James Island vs. Eastside, 7:30 p.m. (late)