Rogers 3-1 Mahtomedi
The Rogers Royals looked to extend their undefeated season to 24 straight games when they faced off against the Mahtomedi Zephyrs (19-0-4). What they could not have expected was they would win the 2010 Class A State Championship with a third string forward-turned-goalkeeper. “I was planning on playing forward,” said freshmen Jenna Trochlil, “I have [played goalie], but it was my first year at the high school in 8th grade. I played on a travel team, but I was only a sub for goalie, I usually play forward.”
The game started with both teams exchanging possession in the midfield. Mahtomedi had the first chance to pull ahead when the Zephyrs sent in a corner kick that landed in the middle of the six-yard box, but with no Mahtomedi attackers near enough to it, the ball ended up in the hands of Rogers sophomore keeper Cassidy Stutelberg.
Rogers freshman Jenna Trochlil didn’t expect she’d be playing goalkeeper for her team in the finals let alone receiving a Mehan Bolton elbow to her face for her efforts. Photos by Jeremy Olson – www.digitalgopher.net
Rogers answered with a near chance of their own a few minutes later. Senior midfielder Kayla Hambleton carried the ball into the Zephyrs’ half and sent a pass forward to senior Aliha Ballon. Ballon took the ball into the penalty box then used her body to shrug off a defender before firing off a shot from just outside the 6-yard box. The ball got past the keeper, but bounced off of the near post and was cleared out.
In the 12th minute, the Royals pulled into the lead. Senior midfielder Amber Paul received a pass from fellow midfielder Alyssa Durst. Paul dribbled the ball to the right corner of the penalty box then turned her body and fired off a shot towards the far post. The low shot got past Mahtomedi’s senior keeper Sharon Oldani and snuck inside the post.
In the 30th minute two events appeared to put the Zephyrs back into the game and even gain an advantage over Rogers. Mahtomedi sent a free kick into the box where junior forward Mehan Bolton collected the ball, but then collided with keeper Stutelberg. The ball came loose and junior attacker Nicole Sames took advantage, putting the ball into the open net.
After the play had ended both Bolton and Stutelberg were still down on the turf. Eventually Bolton walked off the field, but things were not looking good for Stutelberg, who was Rogers’ back-up goalkeeper and was called on after starter Jacqueline Zoubek suffered a broken leg. Now watching Stutelberg get carried off the field, Rogers coach Holly Sutton looked to her bench for a replacement and found Jenna Trochlil. When asked about having to find a replacement keeper, Coach Sutton responded: “It was one of those things where I was hoping it wouldn’t happen. We knew we didn’t have a back-up and we were just going to deal with it when it came and it did. We stuck in one of our freshmen who had played goalkeeper for the freshmen and JV team a couple of times, but she’s a basketball player, she’s athletic and we knew that she would just step up and do it and she did without complaint.”
As Stutelberg was being looked at by the trainers it became apparent that she wouldn’t be able to re-enter the game, something Coach Sutton hadn’t expected. “I actually told [Jenna] it’d only be ten minutes,” admitted Coach Sutton after the game, “because it was ten minutes until half time and I thought Cassie was going to be fine after a few minutes. Then we saw her get strapped to the gurney and I was like, ‘all right it might be the whole game.’”
Mahtomedi was not able to put the new keeper to the test in the rest of the first half, but Rogers gave her a bit of a cushion in the 34th minute with a goal from junior midfielder Jessica Bianchi, who fired a shot in stride from the top of the 18-yard box off of a square pass from sophomore midfielder Gabby Moter.
It was during the stoppage and after Bianchi’s goal when Trochlil was told she’d be in for the rest of the game, but her coach kept the situation in perspective. “[Coach Sutton] told me just to keep my head up and play my best, it was just another soccer game,” said Jenna after the game.
During the second half of play Mahtomedi sent in a lot of shots from distance trying to take advantage of the Royal’s fill-in keeper. Trochlil had a mixture of confident grabs and a few muffed saves, but she was quick to recover her rebounds before any attacking players could take advantage.
The Royals nearly pulled even for a second time in the 60th minute when Trochlil misread the spin of a ball that bounced in the box. The ball got away and headed towards the goal, but senior defender Colleen Reeves came to the rescue, making a sliding goal line clearance. The central pairing came up big for their goalie on a number of occasions. When asked about the play of the central duo of Reeves and Kaitlyn Reimann, Coach Sutton said, “I [had confidence] because those girls are scrappy and they go for everything; they don’t worry about whoever is around them, they go for the ball.”
Rogers finished off the game in the minute prior to the goal line clearance from a Jessica Bianchi free kick. Bianchi sent in a shot from 25 yards out towards the near post. Royals keeper Oldani dove low to her right, but the ball was just out of reach as it got by and bounced in off of the post.
After the game had ended, Coach Sutton praised her unexpected keeper who, with help from a solid defensive line, never let in a goal. “She was there, she wasn’t expecting it, she never thought she’d even see the field. She did and she saved us. We are so thankful that she came up and stepped up and did such a wonderful job for us back there.”