His team had lost just one game in the regular season and things seemed to be working well, but St. Augustine soccer coach Les Heggan felt a change was in order.

Heggan moved prolific scorer Connor Hurff from forward to the midfield as the postseason began.

Heggan understood the stepped-up competition in Non-Public A and thought Hurff's all-around abilities could be used even better at midfield.

St. Augustine prospered after the move, winning the state title with a 2-0 victory over favored Pingry.

"I wanted Connor to just control the midfield and stop the attack," Heggan said. "He is so good with gaining possession and making smart distributions with the ball."

However, Hurff, The Inquirer's South Jersey player of the year, never abandoned his goal-scoring duties.

He scored in three of the four postseason wins, including the state final. That lifted his final total to 26 goals. Showing his distributing skills, he had 12 assists.

St. Augustine was able to play a quick, possession game, and Hurff was usually in the middle of the action.

He had the ability to break down defenders and the accuracy to find teammates well ahead of the field.

"The thing I love about Connor is he has the ability like a magician with the ball," Heggan said. "When we needed him to be more defensive-minded, we didn't skip a beat, and he wanted to do whatever it took to win."

Winning defined the 25-1 Hermits, who finished as The Inquirer's No. 1-ranked South Jersey team.

Hurff never cared about how many goals he scored, but he realized that for his team to enjoy success, he would have to carry his fair share of the offensive load.

His first goal for the season was to win the South Jersey Coaches Tournament, the 16-team, single-elimination affair with the area's best teams.

St. Augustine, which lost to Rancocas Valley in last year's final, reversed fortunes by winning, 3-1, in this year's championship game. Hurff scored all three goals.

"In school all season, people always talked about us winning the states, but my goal was to win the Coaches cup," Hurff said.

Then he got greedy and wanted to add the state title.

Not only did he score a goal, but he also assisted on the other one in the win over Pingry, which was ranked No. 1 in the state at the time by the Newark Star-Ledger.

Even when he moved to midfield, Hurff frequently had a player marking him tightly.

"When I'm man-marked, it's not in my nature to let somebody shut me down," he said.

Hurff said Cincinnati and George Mason were among the colleges he was considering.

In college, just like at St. Augustine, he said, he will play any position the coaches request. He also said that this was the first year he played forward.

With Hurff, the position isn't what is most important. All that counted for him were production on the field and helping his team win, two things that were constants during his St. Augustine career.

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225

or mnarducci@phillynews.com.