The Inquirer TOP 10
Last year's record.
Rk. Team Rec.
1. St. Augustine 17-6
The Hermits will again endure an independent regular-season schedule stacked with national powerhouses. That's before a Non-Public A tournament that includes Delbarton and Bergen Catholic - both listed in the Top 10 in the Nike/U.S. Lacrosse national preseason rankings. It's a testament to the program built by 10th-year head coach J.C. Valore that the Hermits are expected to compete with these teams. St. Augustine returns 11 players committed to Division 1 programs. They also have 11 seniors, the largest senior class in Valore's tenure, and are deep all over the field. Senior goalie Ernie Alvino, an Air Force Academy recruit, and senior attacker Joe Eisele, a University of Delaware recruit, who recorded 36 goals and 8 assists last season, lead the team.
2. Shawnee 17-2
Despite graduating some star power - particularly midfielder Kyle Borbi and goalie Reese Tursi - Shawnee returns six starters, including 10 players committed to college programs. Senior midfielder David Smith, a University of Virginia recruit, generated 35 goals, 13 assists and 218 ground balls his junior year. He's also one of the area's top faceoff guys. Curtis Corley, a University of Maryland recruit, leads the team's defense. Penn State recruit Mike Shinske and Loyola recruit Dan Wigley - both sophomore attackers - are players to watch and could emerge as a dynamic offensive duo.
3. Moorestown 15-8
Moorestown will feature a vastly different look after graduating Inquirer Player of the Year Michael Handlan, the best goalscorer in South Jersey last season, and his brother Brendan, one of the area's best defenders. But the Quakers are one of South Jersey's most established programs and should return enough to compete with Shawnee for the South Jersey Group 3 title. In what's been a heated rivalry, Moorestown beat Shawnee for the title last year after losing it to the Renegades the previous year. Junior attacker Christian Snodgrass and senior midfielder Kevin Tsao should lead the effort to repeat.
4. Cherokee 14-5
The Chiefs graduated one of the area's top senior classes. But they again return one of the best senior classes in South Jersey, several of whom have been among the team's top contributors since their freshmen seasons. Senior Grey Clarkson is entering his third year in goal for Cherokee. Senior attacker Jordan Krug is back after leading the team in goals (36) and assists (31) last season. He heads a talented offensive unit.
5. Lenape 14-8
Last season was a banner year for the Indians - they played competitively against the area's top teams before advancing to South Jersey Group 4 finals and losing in overtime to Southern. Despite graduating top-scorer Andrew Strelein, Lenape returns plenty of talent to remain competitive, including senior attacker Anthony Brunetti who paired 35 goals with 35 assists last season.
6. Clearview 16-4
Senior midfielder Matt Donnelly comes off a junior season in which he recorded an eye-popping 108 points. The Penn State recruit paired 74 goals with 34 assists while leading Clearview to an appearance in the South Jersey Group 3 semifinals. Donnelly and junior attacker Collin Love (54 goals last season) should lead Clearview to another solid season.
7. Seneca 18-4
Seneca has a reputation as one of the area's most consistent programs. They've remained a solid team despite graduating some of the best talent in school history over the past three seasons. They will again have to bounce back this year, but return a solid core, led by senior attacker Kevin Gray who netted 49 goals as a junior.
8. Bishop Eustace 17-2
The Crusaders return most of the firepower from a team that won the Olympic Conference National Division and set a program record for wins in a season. Senior attacker Nick Barbieri will lead the offense after netting 51 goals as a junior.
9. West Deptford 13-9
Joey Diaco and Nick Ellis, who both graduated, combined for 147 points for the Eagles last year. Obviously, that production won't be easy to replace. But West Deptford returns a strong defense, led by junior Nick Diaco, a University of Albany recruit. The program has proved resilient under coach Mike Yarusso, and that shouldn't change this season.
10. Haddonfield 8-11