While there was a debate as to the No. 1 South Jersey team in girls' lacrosse, this wasn't an issue on the boys' side. St. Augustine was The Inquirer's Preseason No. 1 team and never budged. The Hermits finished 19-3, and earned their first trip to a state championship game in the seven-year history of the varsity program.

The season ended with a 7-6 loss to St. Joseph Metuchen in the Non-Public A state final.

"We were disappointed with the way it ended, but that being said, we were very pleased with the progress made throughout the year," St. Augustine coach J.C. Valore said. "We played a more competitive schedule than ever and had some nice quality victories."

Included were wins over The Inquirer's No. 2 and 3 teams Shawnee and Moorestown, along with playoff victories over Bergen Catholic and Don Bosco Prep.

The Hermits will graduate 15 seniors, including Gabe Voumard who had 47 goals and 21 assists, but they also bring back a strong nucleus, led by current sophomore Steve Pontrello (48 goals, 13 assists).

So it wouldn't be surprising if the Hermits begin next season where they end this one, at the top spot in South Jersey.

"We want to maintain a high level of lacrosse," Valore said. "The road the seniors have paved will allow the underclassmen to strive to live up to that."

   - Marc Narducci