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Rose soccer out after 1-0 upset

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J.H. Rose's Noah Holdeman (#11) goes after the ball during a game against Chapel Hill, Tuesday evening.

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The J.H. Rose soccer team saw its season end in the second round of the state playoffs Tuesday night after a 1-0 upset loss to Chapel Hill. 

The 12-seeded Tigers got on the board early in the first half, as Kevin Morales got the ball past Rose (18-5-1) goal keeper Trey Burelson just over six minutes into the contest. Burelson had a busy night in goal, as he made 15 saves. Rose entered the game as a No. 8 seed. 

The Rampants struggled to gain control of the ball in the first half, as the Tigers conitnued to complete short passes around the pitch. The task was made even more difficult when rain began to set in and create a slippery playing field.

“I think we laid it out on the table tonight,” Rampants manager Sam Lee said. “I think their keeper made some great saves down the stretch that kept the second half scoreless and gave them the win.”

Eleven minutes into the first half, the Rampants got their first shot on goal of the night as Jonathan Daniel launched the ball off a pass from Tyre Taft. The bar hit off of the top goalpost and was then taken in by Chapel Hill. 

At the end of the first half, officials deemed a 30-minute weather delay necessary due to lightning. The stoppage didn’t stop Rose from putting together a strong offensive showing out of the break. 

Daniel was given another chance to score, and he almost did.

Taking a free kick from outside the box, his shot once again bounced off the goalpost, to the dismay of Rose fans and teammates. Things also began to get heated with 34 minutes left in the half, as Daniel complained to officials about a Tigers player pulling on his jersey. He was given a yellow card for the outburst and removed from the field for a time. 

Daniel wasn’t the only player to pick up a card, as two Chapel Hill players were also booked by officials, both for risky slide tackles. Tom Morioka was booked after he collided with Burelson, who quickly rebounded and made two big saves. Max Ring was booked with three minutes to go due to a slide tackle. 

The loss marks the end of five Rampant careers on the pitch. Seniors Bryce Odom, Jayden Brown, Noah Holdeman, Taft and Daniel all were captains on the squad this season.

“These seniors are just true classy leaders,” Lee said. “The guys came to me in May and have been a part of this program forever. They really wanted to get this thing started. The seniors we had this year set the bar and the standard for what a senior should be in this program, and how to be leaders moving forward for these young guys.”

North Johnston 3, Greene Central 0

The Panthers took the lead late in the first half and didn’t look back en route to a shutout victory over the Rams. North Johnston will take on 2-A East No. 1 seed First Flight on Thursday.

While the Rams had the bulk of the chances in the opening 40 minutes, the Panthers took advantage of their chance and scored with two minutes left in the half. It was a big goal because coach Winston Pennington’s team took control from there.

“Hats off to Greene Central,” Pennington said. ”They’re a great team. In the first half they were great in possession. Our keeper kept us in the game early. I knew that with a tactical adjustment we’d have a better second half. We were able to control the game once we got the first goal.”

It was a tough end to the season for the Rams after winning their opening-round playoff game 5-2 over Pasquotank. Coach Matthew Gnau felt the same way about the opening goal of the match, but took things from a different perspective.

“I thought we played a brilliant first half,” Gnau said. “What really killed us was that late first half goal when our backup keeper was in. We had to play catch-up after that and they were able to control things in the second half. The team was stretched out which led to the two goals late in the game.”

Gnau mentioned that his keeper had to be taken out of the game due to an injury on a hard collision. Before Ricardo Rivera came back in the game, it was Gabriel Reyes who conceded the first goal on a scramble after a corner kick from a North Johnston.

The second goal for the Panthers came after a giveaway inside Greene Central’s 18-yard box. Finally, a free kick put the game out of reach with 12 minutes remaining in the contest.

Despite losing earlier than the Rams hoped, Greene Central had an excellent season, finishing with a 17-5 record and an Eastern Carolina 2-A regular season conference championship.

“Coming into the season, I knew we’d have a solid squad,” Gnau said, “A lot of that is based on our senior leaders. We had some really good talent. To go on the winning streak we had was excellent. Coming out with a conference championship was great for our program.”

— Laieke Abebe

CLEVELAND 6, D.H. CONLEY 1

No. 22-seed D.H. Conley also saw its season come to a close with a five-goal loss to six-seeded Cleveland.

Five goals and a dominating first half for the Rams were the key to their win.

The Vikings graduate six seniors, including Liam Coller, Carlos Ochoa, Jackson Sherrill, Zach Tucker, Coleman Ferrell and captain Edie Lopez. They will also bring back six juniors to take over for the departing seniors.

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