by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Jacob Lehrke’s first varsity goal was a big one for the Rogers Royals as they clinched at least a share of the conference title with a 2-1 win at Princeton on Thursday evening.
Lehrke, a sophomore, broke a 1-1 tie in the 70th minute, using his left foot to steer the ball past an excellent goalkeeper. The play started with a crossing pass from Isaac Aanerud which Mitch Steeves relayed to Lehrke.
The win gives Rogers a final 7-1 record in the Mississippi 8. Chisago Lakes Area was 6-1 heading into their finale against St. Francis. That score has not been reported at this posting.
This is the second Mississippi 8 title for Rogers, which won in 2010, then struggled the last two years. The conference was expanded to nine teams this year with the addition of three teams, including Chisago Lakes.
Mitch Steeves, scavenging near the net, scored the first Rogers goal, assisted by Aanerud.
The Royals thoroughly dominated play with 20 shots on goal to just one by Princeton. Tiger goalkeeper Justin Carlson made 18 saves to keep his team in the game.
Princeton’s lone shot (name not available) slipped through Rogers goalie C.J. Rich’s, hands due in part to a slippery ball.
Rogers finished the regular season 8-8 after an 0-5 start. The Royals will start Section 8AA next Thursday. Coach Chris Miller said it was likely that the Royals will be seeded fifth and would play at No. 4 St. Cloud Tech.