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Rose soccer kicks off season as 5-2-1

FRI. | 03-05-21 | SPORTS

     The Rose men's varsity soccer team is off to a 5-2-1 start, coming off a 5-0 win against Eastern Wayne this past Thursday, Mar. 4. Because of the new 2020-2021 calendar, men's soccer season is in the spring which is unusual given the normal season is in the fall. The Rampants have had five games postponed due to weather and they hope to reschedule these at some point. Standing at third in the eastern North Carolina 3-A/4A Conference, their only two losses have come against cross town rival D.H. Conley losing 2-1 in overtime, and 1-0 in their most recent matchup.

     Rose senior captain Ryan Moloney has been playing soccer his whole life. He began playing at the varsity level his freshman year. His position for the Rampants is at center back on the field.

     “We are using many different formations this year,” Moloney said.

     Head varsity coach Joey McAlduff has been coaching soccer for about 20 years, but this is his second season leading the Rampant men’s soccer team. McAlduff recognizes that this season is unlike any other he has experienced as a coach. Normally they do summer workouts and lots of training prior to the fall season but 


Picture contributed by Ryan Moloney

with COVID-19 they have made some changes in regards to normal practice and game routine. 

     “We have to log attendance, we have temperature checks at each practice and games, masks are mandatory to be worn at all times for players and coaches,” McAlduff said.   

     He explained that although the players have been challenged in having to adjust to wearing masks, they have been very resilient and are willing to do what it takes to play the season.  

     "We are only limited to 23 passengers on a bus including the bus driver and the coach,” McAlduff said.

     McAlduff changed some things around when he became the coach, such as the captains of the team and some leadership roles. He has created a tight team bond and spirit by working to focus more on the team rather than different levels based on grade or skill level. McAlduff has created groups during practices within the team that are made up of different age members of the team because he feels this will help his team mold into his vision of a tight-knit group working together.  

     “One thing I tell the boys is I can't coach effort and I cannot coach intensity,” McAlduff said.  

Even in a pandemic, he expects players to improve if they buy into his mindset and philosophy, which seem to be coming to fruition.  

     “I expect them to give me 100% effort each and every practice and every game,” McAlduff said.

     His hopes for this season may be a little different because of the pandemic and lately the weather, but he explains that this makes every game even more important. With only one team from the conference going to the state playoffs this year, he feels it is crucial that they try to win each game.

     “Each game is a gift,” McAlduff said.

     The Rampants will try to take that mentality as they finish the season in the coming weeks as they prepare for the upcoming home game against South Central on Tuesday, Mar. 9.

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