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Bless our stormwater system's heart (does it have one?). Seemed to hold up pretty well to me, Calvin. Stormwater is...

PLAYOFFS: Rose soccer falls to Leesville Road

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J.H. Rose players Hannah Hendrix (17) and Sara Young (19) chase the ball during a second-round 4-A state playoff game Friday night against Leesville Road.

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By JORDAN ANDERS
The Daily Reflector

Friday, May 12, 2017

On the scoreboard, Friday night wasn’t a very good one for J.H. Rose’s girls’ soccer team, with the Rampants taking a 4-0 loss to Leesville Road in the second round of the 4-A playoffs.

But coach Tim Dameron, disappointed though he was at seeing his team’s season end, emerged from the postgame huddle wearing a smile at how his team hung with the state’s No. 2 ranked 4-A team.

The seventh-seeded Rampants (14-6-1) took their best shot against the No. 9 seed Pride (19-2-2), who are ranked second in North Carolina and fifth in the nation by MaxPreps. Though Rose failed to find the back of the net, it created close scoring opportunities and was down just 1-0 with 30 minutes remaining before a quick flurry of goals by the Pride put the game out of reach.

“For 55 minutes, I don’t think we could have played much better,” Dameron said. “We settled in the second half, and the last 20 minutes of the first half, we looked so good. ... but what I love about these girls is they could have folded. (The Pride) got three really fast and that’s why they’re No. 5 in the country, but our girls never quit tonight and I cannot be more proud.”

The Rampants were left to rue a pair of missed opportunities that could have changed the game’s complexion when it was still close. Leading scorer Shelby Jones, who set the school’s career scoring record in JHR’s first-round victory, had a shot from the right side roll just to the outside of the left post 10 minutes in that would have given the Rampants the game’s first goal.

Leesville Road took the lead with a goal just shy of the midway point of the first half. Rose again threatened in the final 10 minutes of the first when Sarah Young fired a free kick that found Jones in the box. Jones leapt and got her head on the ball, but it sailed just high and over the crossbar, denying JHR what would have been the equalizing score.

The Pride dominated control in the early part of the second half and finally broke through to add to its lead when Anne Marie Cawley punched in a goal with 28:26 left. That opened the flood gates, with LR scoring two goals in the next 10 minutes to double its lead and put the game out of reach.

“What we literally tried to do, we did to perfection,” Dameron said of the free kick that set up Jones’ near-miss header. “Shelby hits the crossbar, it would have been 1-1 (had she made it). We missed that first one early, it could have been 1-0 us and it’s a completely different ball game at that point, but it didn’t go in and that’s OK."

Ayden-Grifton 7, North Brunswick 0

Ayden-Grifton pitcher Austin Jones threw a complete game and gave up just three hits as the No. 22 seed Chargers upset No. 8 North Brunswick to advance to the third round of the 2-A playoffs.

Jones struck out six for the Chargers (15-11), who got two hits apiece from Josh Harris and Brendan Mullis. A-G will travel to East top seed South Granville in the third round next week.

Holly Springs 3, South Central 0

No. 15 South Central’s season ended in the 4-A second round with a shutout loss at No. 4 seed Holly Springs. The Falcons finished the year 17-8.

STATE TENNIS

D.H. Conley senior Jaxon Wiley picked up a first-round win at the 4-A individual state tennis championship in Raleigh on Friday, but was eliminated with a loss in the second round. Wiley defeated Lake Norman’s Brian Dow (6-7, 6-2, 7-2) in the first round, but fell to Clayton’s Banks Evans (6-3, 6-2) in the second.

Ayden-Grifton’s Noah Little was eliminated by Maiden’s Luke Laney (6-1, 6-2) in the first round of the 2-A state championship.

SIGNINGS

A trio of Pitt County athletes signed letters of intent in the last week to play sports at the college level.

Caroline Kuhn, J.H. Rose: The Rampants’ powerful hitter is headed to Wake Forest, signing with the Demon Deacons after originally committing to the University of Virginia.

The opportunity to play for the Cavaliers fell through when UVa. couldn’t offer a scholarship, leaving Kuhn doubtful that college volleyball was in her future, but when Wake came through with an offer three weeks ago, she jumped at it.

“I was starting to get really, really discouraged, and I actually told my mom if the offer from Wake hadn’t come when it did, I was really close to just giving up,” Kuhn said. “(The Wake offer) came at such a perfect time. Coach (Bill Ferguson) called and I just broke down crying. I had to pull myself together really quickly because I was so excited. The second that he called me, I knew immediately that Wake was where I was supposed to be.”

Kuhn, who is 6-foot-2, tallied 278 kills and 105 blocks as a senior with the Rampants.

Gabrielle Greene, J.H. Rose: The Rampants’ other signee is also staying in North Carolina, headed to Winston-Salem State University.

Greene, who played two years at Rose after transferring from Ayden-Grifton, was originally committed to North Carolina Central before re-opening her recruitment and settling on WSSU.

“I had a change of heart,” she said. “I visited Winston-Salem after (I committed) and I fell in love. The coach and the team was just so welcoming and I enjoyed it a lot. ... I really had my heart set on (a historically black college or university) so that kind of narrowed my options, and I wanted to stay in North Carolina, as well. I really felt like Winston-Salem was the place for me.”

Greene, 6-1, enters college off a senior season in which she had 108 kills and 86 blocks.

Karina Carbajal, D.H. Conley: The Vikings’ senior thought her chances at playing college soccer had gone up in smoke when she tore the ACL in her left knee in March, but Cape Fear Community College decided to offer her a spot on the team, where she will redshirt as a freshman.

“I had definitely already kind of shut that door,” Carbajal said. “I was like, ‘Who’s going to want a person that tore their ACL their senior year and wasn’t fully committed to a school or anything?’ They kind of talked to coach Mac and she sent them an email and a bunch of footage of me, and they said they were definitely interested. ... They were like, ‘What do you think about redshirting your first year?’ and I said, ‘Definitely.’”

Carbajal had reconstructive surgery on her knee last week. She scored 15 career goals and had 11 career assists at Conley.

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