By Bruce Strand
Elk River Star News
The Rogers soccer teams had a 108-mile drive for a double-header Thursday but the long trip was well worth it for a couple of reasons.
The Royals had the privilege of joining the Brainerd Warriors for the first action on new artificial turf at the Adamson Field soccer/football complex, and both Rogers teams won their matches handily.
Trevor Klink scored the first-ever goal on the new turf, just 2:11 into the match, as the Rogers boys cruised to a 9-1 win. The Royal girls completed the sweep of the section rivals 7-2.
Next for the Royals was a doubleheader against Moorhead, another section rival, at home Tuesday, boys at 5 p.m. and girls at 7 p.m.
Boys: Royals 9, Brainerd 1
Klink and Mitch Steeves each delivered a hat trick for the Royals, each scoring twice in the first half as they took a 5-0 lead.
A.J. Wedell and Logan Olkon had the other goals for Rogers (1-1), which earned a 13-5 edge in shots on goal. Their goalie Joe Schlotman stopped four of five shots.
Corey Tollefsrud getting Brainerd’s first goal on the new turf with a floater over the goalie.
Brainerd coach Tony Smith praised the Royals, in a quote in the Brainerd Dispatch: “I don’t know what their roster grade-level breakdown is but you can tell they’re a good team.
They pass well, they understand each other’s spacing and position. Those are the teams that are going to give us trouble this year.”
The Royals lost their opener to Anoka 2-0 on Thursday.
GIRLS VS. EAGAN
The Rogers Royals lost to No. 5 ranked Eagan 2-0 in the girls soccer opener Aug. 21 at home.
The Wildcats scored one minute into the game on a 25-yard shot over Rogers goalkeeper Lydia Hubert-Peterson and again in the 35th minute off a cross and volley.
Rogers clamped down in the second half, with a 5-3 edge in shots on goal. Eagan’s goalie made an excellent save on a shot by Courtney Henderson, and Miranda Anderson hit the crossbar on another Rogers opportunity.
Eagan fell to a defensive shape with 10 minutes left and the Royals couldn’t break through.
It was the debut of new Rogers coach Aaron Lindquist, formerly Elk River boys coach.
Lindquist cited defender Abbie Gearou as “a rock in the back for us,” keeping up with a very fast Eagan forward. Anderson, Bella Pedlar and Henderson had outstanding games, he added.
“The second half was a very good building block for our team,” said Lindquist.
Rogers has been dealing with some injuries. Three players counted upon were playing their first games since April, August 2013, and November 2013, respectively.