The Rogers girls soccer team ran out of time against the Kentwood Conquerors on Thursday night.
Kentwood’s Tori Vallala scored in the 12th minute to propel the Conquerors to a 1-0 victory against Rogers in a winner-to-state, loser-out West Central/Southwest bi-district match at Auburn Riverside High School in Auburn.
The Rams (8-4-3 overall) played the majority of the second half on Kentwood’s side of the field but couldn’t cash in to force overtime.
Rogers head coach Moe Orcutt said his team took advantage of having the wind at its back in the second half. It played a factor all night long.
“We put a lot of pressure on them in the second half,” Orcutt said. “Every time we countered, they countered back. It was a battle between two pretty evenly matched squads.
“We thought we had a good chance to win if we could get the game to a shootout,” Orcutt said. “Nobody wants to lose, but half the teams that play tonight are going to lose. We followed the game plan. Kentwood is a good team that is very well-coached, so we knew it would be a tough battle tonight.”
Kentwood head coach Aaron Radford said his team’s defense rose to the occasion in the second half.
“You could play well and you could do what you wanted to do, but when that wind is slowing everything down, it is so hard to get any constant buildup,” Radford said. “We were lucky to hold on in the second half without giving up really any dangerous shots. There were a couple of good balls hit with pace, but it was nothing that our goalie and our backline couldn’t handle. We were able to see all of those hits and not panic.”
Orcutt said this season was one of his most enjoyable because of his team’s togetherness and camaraderie.
“You always hear teams say they are like sisters, but these girls literally act it out,” he said. “I couldn’t be prouder of them. Making the playoffs was our goal this season, and we achieved that goal.”