Cardinal Gibbons lost to Lake Norman 9-8 in the N.C. High School Athletic Association boys lacrosse finals a year ago. Gibbons had a last second shot, which would have forced overtime, bounce off of the crossbar.
The Crusaders (20-1-0) led the area in scoring with 12.5 goals per game led by Gannon Morrison (18 goals, 32 assists). Seniors Jeff Williams and Colin McKendry also return.
Other teams to watch
Athens Drive: The Jaguars (14-4) lost to Cardinal Gibbons 6-5 in the NCHSAA semifinals. Athens had an tough defense in 2012 and return keeper Dane Peddicord and defender Hunter Williams.
Holly Springs: The Hawks (11-8-0) fell in the third round to eventual finalist Cardinal Gibbons 9-8. Six of Holly Springs losses were by two goals or less. All-America defender Evan Allen and Ethan Brantley are leaders. Among the vets are Andrew Ruskey and Taylor Ferguson.
Apex: The Cougars (14-5) return Luke Sieber (55 goals, 25 assists, committed to Lynchburg College) and Derek Sweet (34 goals, 55 assists, Robert Morris University). Junior Colby Lalicker (VMI) is also among eight returning starters.
Ravenscroft: The Ravens (12-7) reached the NCISAA championship in 2012 and return eight starters. Senior Jimbo Barnes scored 42 goals and was the league player of the year. Josh Moorman was the Ravens’ 2012 MVP and Jamie Herakovich had 37 goals and 10 assists.
Durham Jordan: Jordan (15-2) is rebuilding around junior midfielder Thomas Schmidt, junior attack Owen Perrien, senior midfield Flynn Narron and defender Sam Helwig.
Broughton: The Caps (13-2) return three starters, including all-conference picks Hayden Lovett and Davis Weaver.
Cary: The Imps (3-14) expect better things with the return of Aaron Plynaar, Clayotn Blackwelder and two other returning starters.
Green Hope: The Falcons (3-13) return top goal scorer Will Rhodes, offensive MVP Chris Brunetti and defensive MVP P.J. Morrissette.