St. Augustine Prep’s season came to an end Thursday after a 4-1 loss to Christian Brothers Academy in the final round of the South Jersey Non-Public A sectional tournament.
It was the third time the two teams met in the final in the last four seasons, and the fourth straight sectional title for the Colts.
“They’re just a talent,” St. Augustine coach Steve Rolando said after the loss. “This CBA team is typically more composed than some other teams that we face throughout the year.”
With the loss, the Hermits finished the season 17-5-3. It is their highest win total since winning the state championship in 2010.
Regardless of the outcome, Rolando was pleased with the effort his team put forth throughout the season.
“I told you guys before you even went out there how proud I am of all of you,” Rolando told his team after the game.
For much of the first half, St. Augustine’s defense was as strong as it had been throughout the season. The game remained scoreless for 36 minutes until senior forward Jack Gill found the back of the net for the Colts after finding a small crease in the middle of a crowded box.
After giving up an early second-half goal, the Hermits responded. Junior Antonio Matos got a fast break and managed to score on a far-post strike in the 54th minute, cutting the deficit to one with his ninth goal of the season.
Just two minutes later, however, senior Liam Mulvey scored for the Colts, giving them a two-goal lead again.
“That hurt,” Rolando said of Mulvey’s goal.
CBA scored again in the 72nd minute. Senior Joe Lozowski scored his second goal of the game after the ball was deflected on a save, sealing the game for CBA.
Despite a bitter end to the season, the Hermits won the South Jersey Coaches Tournament for the second time in program history.
“We had a couple goals,” said senior defender Colby Rumpf, who plans on playing soccer in college. “We reached a few of them, but we just missed out on this last one.”
For Rumpf, the last four years with St. Augustine will likely be a period he’ll never forget.
“(They were) probably the best four years of my life,” Rumpf said after the game. “Maybe the best four years I’ll ever have.”
With the departure of 12 seniors, Rolando wanted to make sure he addressed them after the game.
“You’ve left a mark on me more than any other group,” Rolando said to his seniors.
Though Rolando will be losing key senior leadership from Rumpf and left back Paul Bechtelheimer, his two best scorers will return next season.
Kevin Witkoski and Antonio Matos, who combined for 21 goals for the Hermits this season, will have one more shot at leading the team on another deep playoff run.