Home Local Sports Lady Rockets looking to ‘out-hustle’ Ellerbe

Lady Rockets looking to ‘out-hustle’ Ellerbe

The Lady Rockets will host Ellerbe for the conference championship on Tuesday. (Deon Cranford)

ROCKINGHAM – The girls’ soccer team of Rockingham Middle School emerged victorious after a grueling match against rival Hamlet Middle last week, with a final score of 2-0 in the SEMSAC semifinals.

This hard-earned win secured its spot in the championship game on Tuesday where they will be hosting Ellerbe Middle, the No. 2 seed in the SEMSAC tournament. The top-seeded Lady Rockets improved to 10-0 on the season and are determined to claim the conference title for the second season in a row.

The game’s sole scorer was Cailey Chermak, who managed to secure both goals for her team. The first goal was scored with only 3 minutes and 20 seconds left in the first half, while the second goal was netted with just 3 minutes and 26 seconds remaining in the game. Chermak’s impressive performance was crucial in securing the Lady Rockets’ victory and advancing them to the championship game.

Coach Asheley Turner of Rockingham Middle School expressed her pride in her team’s hard work and dedication following their win against Hamlet.  “I have to brag on them a little,” Turner said following the game.  “They worked hard and they earned it.  Everyone played well today.  Chermak had a big day for us.”

Looking ahead to the championship game against Ellerbe, Turner acknowledged that the previous adjustments made during their 2-1 season finale victory at Ellerbe Middle did not work in their favor. However, with the upcoming game being held on their home field, Turner is confident that her team can “out-hustle” their opponents by sticking to their tried and tested strategies.

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“We made some changes based on what we thought we were going to see there,” Turner said of the game at Ellerbe.  “It actually wound up hurting us.  When they come here, we plan to stick with what we know and with what works for us.  We are a much faster team than we were in Ellerbe. Being on our home field will make a difference.”

This is the second year in a row that Rockingham Middle will meet Ellerbe Middle in the SEMSAC tournament title game and the fourth time since 2017 that the two will play for the conference crown.  Rockingham has won the previous three, including a 3-1 decision last year.

Two of the three goals for Rockingham in last year’s title game were scored by Addison Butler and Cadence Gazoo, while Ellerbe’s lone goal was scored by Mariana Gonzalez-Aguilar.  All three, now eighth graders, have been key players for their respective teams this season and will be playing in their final middle school game on Tuesday. 

Chermak, Addison Smith, and Alley Crouch are a few of the other scoring threats on the Rockingham roster that will be looking for scoring opportunities in the title bout.

The Lady Rockets are determined to maintain their winning streak, which currently stands at 21 consecutive victories dating back to last year.  The program’s last loss was in the 2021 conference title game when they fell to Hamlet Middle during a COVID-19 shortened season.