You can add two-time national champions to the growing list of accolades for Bourne natives Avery and Claudia Rogers.
“It feels almost surreal,” Claudia said. “The second one feels so much better than the first.”
Avery added, “Not a lot of people can call themselves [two-time national champions]. It means a lot to achieve that with all my teammates.”
The twins capped a five-day trip in Colorado last week for the 2019 National Premier League Finals with their South Shore Select 2004 AP team with five wins in five days—doing so in thrilling fashion.
Facing Clovis Crossfire, a team from California, on Monday, July 15, the Rogers’ team fell behind 1-0—the first time they allowed a goal and trailed in the tournament—with six minutes left in the championship final. With a minute remaining in regulation, South Shore Select was awarded a corner kick and pulled Avery out of her goalie position out of the box. Teammate Sophie Reale took the corner kick toward the box and right to Avery, who headed the ball back to Reale and she buried the goal in the upper corner of the net.
“After all these years I was finally able to celebrate a goal with teammates,” said Avery, typically a goalie playing on the opposite end of the field.
Following a scoreless overtime period, the two teams went to penalty kicks with each side getting five opportunities to put their team out in front for good. Clovis Crossfire missed their third attempt while South Shore Select connected on all five penalty kicks to clinch the program’s second-straight national title.
They drew inspiration from the US Women’s National Team, who captured their second-straight World Cup title less than two weeks before the Rogers sisters accomplished a similar feat on the smaller scale.
“We all look up to the women on the US National Team,” Avery said. “I think we were able to grow from it and it definitely motivated us.”
Claudia added with a laugh, “I wish our celebrations were as cool as theirs. There was just a lot of screaming and crying after.”
South Shore Select, which won the NPL under-14 national title last year in Colorado, reached the finals after scoring a 1-0 victory, on a goal that was also scored in the final minute of regulation, against PDA, a New Jersey-based team. Prior to that the Massachusetts team breezed through group play, defeating EW Surf from Washington, 6-0; Solar South Adames from Texas, 9-0; and Force FC from New York, 4-0, to earn the top seed in the knockout rounds.
It was a moment to savor for Claudia, who broke her arm a week before last year’s national championship run began.
“It was a great moment,” she said. “It was great to get back and help the team and feel like a contributor in the win.”
But there is little time to savor the victory for the twins. They flew back from Colorado late Monday evening and had a captain’s practice session with their new high school team, the Tabor Academy Seawolves, on Tuesday before Claudia leaves for Wake Forest for a soccer ID camp today. Following a freshman campaign with Bourne High School that was filled with promise, the Rogers sisters, who will not re-classify as freshmen, will leave the South Coast Conference for stiffer competition in the New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC).
Last season the Tabor girls’ team captured the Class B NEPSAC Championship.
“It was really nice to play with the people we grew up with,” Avery said. “We played with some amazing girls like Olivia Fitzpatrick and Abby Ariagno, people we looked up to. We loved playing with them. It was a really great time. We just had to move on eventually. I think we’ll take some of what we learned from Bourne there, like the leadership skills and all the fun times.”