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Thurs.| 5-9-24 | SPORTS

     20 years ago, the Rose men’s lacrosse team faced off against New Bern High School for the first time in the school’s history. They did go on to lose, and while the lacrosse program kept gaining progress, every year they struggled to get over the hump and beat their biggest rival. Last week, over 20 years removed from their first loss to the Bears, they met their goal, winning 16-10 at home.

     Sophomore Midfielder Elliott Ward led the Rampants with six goals and an assist, with fellow sophomore Brody Jones adding a goal of his own, while also providing four assists. 

     “I played pretty well,” Ward said. “I put a few goals in the back of the net and helped my teammates.”

     Rose has played close with New Bern the last few games, losing by only three the first time this season and losing by four and five in their two matchups last year. Head Coach Tarhy Alford has encouraged the Rampants to take the momentum they’ve gained each year into their last matchup and into the 2023-24 playoffs. 

     “Anything is possible,” Alford said. “Sometimes words only mean so much, but now the boys have seen it and believe it.”

     Ward’s six goals added to an impressive campaign this season, as he has amassed 47 goals and 64 points this season, putting him in the top 75 in the state in terms of points this season. His stellar play on the field has made him a leader in the locker room, even as an underclassman.


Contributed Photo

     “[Ward] has been a solid performer all year,” Alford said. “He’s a player that concentrates on lacrosse and wants to take it to the next level after high school.”

     The Rampants have now won four straight games dating back to their matchup against Havelock and will head into the playoffs as the 11 seed with a record of 9-4. They’ll travel to sixth-seeded South Brunswick on Saturday for their first-round matchup. The Cougars have a record of 9-9 and have lost three straight games. 

     “We’ve had a nice run here in the second half of the season,” Alford said. “We look forward to playing South Brunswick and the boys are really looking forward to playing in the playoffs.”

     Ward, Alford and the Rampants were able to make history and will look to take their stellar play into the playoffs and build for future seasons at Rose, winning even more games and attempting to take home a state championship. 

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