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Boys' soccer: Royals play better with experienced roster

Woodbury's Cade Keesling tries to find his way past a pair of East Ridge defenders during a home game on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Blaze Fugina / RiverTown Multimedia

The Woodbury boys' soccer team is undefeated this season against teams not named East Ridge.

The Royals finished 2-1 last week, with wins against Mounds View and North St. Paul. The only blemish of the season, however, came in a 5-0 loss to East Ridge on Sept. 12.

After winning the first two games of the season, the Royals faltered for the first time this season against a state-ranked opponent.

"We haven't been down this year yet in our first two games," head coach Joe Quintavalle said. "We had the lead or were tied. So when we got down, we didn't know how to handle it."

After falling into a 3-0 hole at halftime, the Royals felt it would make a difference if they could come out with a goal in the second half. But they were not able to generate many offensive chances when they needed it.

"They worked hard through the whole game," Quintavalle said. "They worked hard through the whole game. They didn't give up when it was 4, 5-0."

Woodbury has gotten off to a 4-1 start with the help of a more experienced roster this season. Only three seniors graduated from last year, which means most of the team had varsity experience coming into the year.

"We won two games last year, and now we've won our first two," Quintavalle said. "We're a better team than last year. We're a little bigger, faster stronger because we're a year older."

The Royals defeated Mounds View 3-1 on Thursday, Sept. 14, and won 1-0 against North St. Paul on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Woodbury is scheduled to play two road games this week at White Bear Lake on Tuesday, Sept. 19, and at Stillwater on Thursday, Sept. 21, before coming home to play Prior Lake on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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