by Eric Oslund
The Rogers girls soccer team secured their fifth win of the season, improving to 5-1, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, by defeating Chisago Lakes 3-0 – their fourth straight shutout.
It’s hard to ever complain about a shutout, but the Royals didn’t quite seem like themselves in this one. They didn’t possess it as well through midfield as they have done most of the season, leaving some passes short, or just missing on others.
“Overall, I think if you ask most of the girls after they game they would have said they wanted a little more,” head coach Aaron Lindquist said. “Just because there were some things we were doing that are uncharacteristic for us, movement off the ball and incomplete passes, but we still scored two goals, and that’s a positive.”
Luckily for the girls, though, their captains came to play.
Emily Kilby started things off just two minutes into the game when she received an in bounds pass from fellow captain Claire Swan. The ball weaved its way through the defenders and onto Kirby’s foot. From there, she had a 1-on-1 opportunity and all she had to do was not miss the net.
“A little bit,” Kilby said when asked if she ever panics in those situations, “but then I tell myself to calm down, look where I’m going to place it and then place it.”
Close to 10 minutes after that it was Swan’s turn to find the back of the net. Her teammate lobbed a pass up the middle of the field, which landed between her and the opposing goaltender.
Both girls raced for it with all they had, and it just so happened to be Swan getting her foot on it and kicking it into the back of the net.
Swan would get another opportunity in the second half when she lined up for a penalty kick. She took a couple deep breathes and then launched the ball over the wall of players in front of her and up into the top corner of the net, just out of the reach of the goalie.
“I’ve had a little bit of trouble this year, but this game was better for me,” she said of missed opportunities she has had the past couple weeks. “Good to get some goals under my belt.”
Then there is Cassidy Lehrke, the goaltender on the Royals side. She already entered this season as the program’s leader in shutouts, and all she has done is continue to add to that record. The win against Chisago Lakes was her 21st of the season, but she knew she couldn’t have gotten it done without the help of her teammates, especially her fellow captains.
“All us captains, we work really well together and try to lead the team the best way we can,” Lehrke said. “Everyone on the team is a leader in some way, shape, or form, so we just try to get everyone to work together and try to lift each other up.”
The Royals have a lot of high expectations this season, and this start only seems to be increasing them. But with each goal scored, each save made, and each win recorded, the girls only seem to be gaining more and more confidence, and now they are eagerly waiting for the next challenge.