by Bruce Strand
Elk River Star News
A disputed goal wound up deciding the game and leaving the Rogers Royals girls with a share of the conference championship Thursday evening.
The Royals tipped Princeton 2-1 at home to finish Mississippi 8 play with a 7-1 record and tie St. Michael-Albertville, which finished 6-0-2, for the title.
Miranda Anderson launched a shot as time was about to expire in the first half. With a defender on her hip at the five-yard maker, she drove the ball past the goalie into the far side of the net. With zeroes on the clock, one official ruled goal, another said he couldn’t tell. It was ruled a goal, over the protests of the Princeton coach.
After a scoreless second half, the Royals had the program’s third Mississippi 8 title, adding 2013 to the 2009 and 2010 banners.
“It wasn’t always pretty but the girls kept fighting hard and didn’t care if the wins were pretty or ugly,” said coach Holly Sutton.
With wins worth two points and ties one point, Rogers and STMA had 14 each. The Knights handed Rogers its lone conference loss 1-0 on Tuesday.
“That was a bummer. We did not want to share it,” said Sutton.
Jenna Breseman scored Rogers’ first goal and Jordan Blomquist countered for Princeton.
Rogers goalkeeper Lydia Hubert-Peterson made nine saves and Princeton’s April Schmidt made several impressive stops in the second half.
The Royals (10-5) will close the regular season at Wayzata on Saturday at noon. They’ll start Section 8AA on Thursday with a home game. The sectionals could bring another match with STMA, the likely No. 1 seed.