by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
The Rogers Royals found themselves tied for first place, surprisingly, after scraping out a 2-1 win over St. Michael-Albertville at home on Tuesday evening.
The Royals (7-8 overall), who lost a duel for first place to Chisago Lakes Area 2-0 a week earlier, got a big assist from Monticello on Tuesday as the Magic handed that team its first loss of the season 2-1.
That means the Royals and Wildcats are tied for the Mississippi 8 lead at 6-1 with one game left. Monticello, a team Rogers beat 6-0, is 4-2-2 in conference.
“We didn’t expect that,” said Rogers coach Chris Miller, about the news he received in a text from activities director Dan Ohlgren. “Now we’ve got a chance to be co-champions.”
Rogers will host Princeton (2-5-1) in the conference finale on Thursday while Chisago Lakes hosts St. Francis (3-3-1).
In the win over STMA, Isaac Aanerud opened the scoring with a penalty kick, and Nahome Biniam made it 2-0 at the end of a corner kick play, both in the first half.
On that second goal, Mike Biah steered the ball at Aanerud, who tried for header but missed the ball, with Biniam right behind him. Biniam took a shot that the goalie blocked, then pounced on the rebound and scored.
STMA pulled within 2-1 win Garrett Adkins got loose and made a beeline toward the net to fire the ball past C.J. Rich. But the Knights (3-3-2, 3-9-4) got no closer.