by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Breaks did not go Rogers way as the Royals’ season ended with a 3-2 loss to the Moorhead Spuds 3-2 Thursday in Moorhead.
The Royals gave up an own goal and a penalty kick goal, and had an apparent goal of their own overturned, in the Section 8AA opener.
“We felt we overmatched them, and controlled the ball for the most part,” said Royal coach Chris Miller.
Isaac Aanerud blasted two goals as Rogers cut a 3-0 deficit to 3-2, but the Royals didn’t get off a shot in the final 20 minutes after that.
No. 5 seeded Rogers finished 8-9 with a share of their conference title. No. 4 Moorhead (11-3-3) advanced to the semifinals at No. 1 Anoka on Saturday.
Moorhead’s Anthony Juven pounced on a loose ball and scored the lone goal of the first half.
The Spuds went up 2-0 when a free kick by Justin Froslie glanced off a Royal defender’s leg and into the net in the 42nd minute. Just three minute slater, it was 3-0 on the PK by Noah Yak. Miller said both players fell on that play and was disappointed that the call went against Rogers.
Another call Rogers didn’t get came on Cameron Ly’s shot a few minutes later. The referees felt Moorhead goalkeeper Alex Schmidt had possession of the ball before it came loose and Ly shot it.
Aanerud, fifth-year Royal starter in his final game, made a header on an assist from Harding Ozanger in the 56th minute, and blasted another goal from inside the box in the 59th minute, assisted by Ibrahim Sareva.
Then the Spud defense hunkered down and preserved its shaky lead.
“It got way too exciting way too late,” Moorhead coach Lance Hansen told the Fargo Forum. “We held them off the scoreboard in the last 20 minutes, even though it wasn’t that beautiful. We’ll certainly take it.”