Two late first-half goals in a three-minute span by Abbey Elmquist and another late tally in the second helped Rogers break firm defensive resistance from Bemidji as the Lumberjacks dropped a 3-0 decision against their Section 8AAA foes on Saturday at the Bemidji Middle School.
Much like in Thursday’s loss to Buffalo, the Lumberjacks saw very little consistent possession against their Section counterparts from the south. A stout defensive performance helped the Lumberjacks keep the game goalless in the first half hour, which featured a pair of diving stops by starting goalkeeper Morgan Myers.
Patient in possession throughout much of the first half, Rogers went more direct to find its opening strike in the 35th minute. A ball over the top to Greta Chumra eventually led to a block on her attempted shot at goal, but Elmquist cleaned up the rebound in front of Myers to give the Royals the lead.
The Royals again struck quickly and directly in the 38th minute, with Elmquist tucking away a composed finish after Ella Wade hit a raking cross beyond the Jacks’ back line.
Bemidji had rarely threatened in the first half, but fashioned a good chance with quick possession early in the second half when Marah Bitter’s cross could not be reached on the back post.
Goalkeeper Kiera Nelson entered for Bemidji in the second half and was called into action for a pair of excellent stops, first to deny Elmquist a hat-trick and then later on a fingertip save against Lauren Carroll.
Rogers posted a third goal in the 72nd minute when Wade met Chumra’s skimmed header with a strike past the onrushing Nelson inside the penalty area.
The Lumberjacks had a late chance to score a consolation goal on another sweeping cross by Bitter, but Lily Paquette’s point-blank shot was denied by the face of Rogers goalkeeper Emma Blanchar before McCrady’s follow-up effort was cleared off the line.
Rogers outshot the Lumberjacks 14-4 in efforts on target, with Myers stopping four shots and Nelson tallying seven in the second half.
Bemidji (2-4-1) will next travel to Crookston on Tuesday for a 4pm match.