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Woodbury girls soccer: Royals snap Rangers’ win streak in Suburban East opener

Maddie Gaffney scored two goals as the Woodbury Royals came from behind and won their Suburban East Conference opener on Thursday.

“It was good to see our girls stick together and get our first conference win,” Royals coach Pat Malicki said.

Woodbury (2-3; 1-0 SEC) beat the Forest Lake Rangers 3-1 and snapped the Rangers five-game win streak. The Royals’ win also knocked the Rangers (5-1; 0-1 SEC) from the ranks of the unbeaten.

“We could not score early in the game,” Malicki said. “We had chances but just could not finish.”

The Rangers jumped in front with a goal in the first 10 minutes, but the Royals proceeded to score three unanswered goals. Gaffney had two, Dani Nelson put one in the net and Kim Taplin assisted on one.

“I was proud of the way our girls continued to work,” Malicki said. “They did not get frustrated. They continued to press in our attacking zone and we scored 3 unanswered goals.”

They took a 2-1 lead by halftime and iced the game in the second half with their third goal. Meghan Konop stopped four shots for the Royals. The Royals evened their record at 2-2, but Royals coach Bill Ebertz sees plenty of work ahead for their team.

“We are not starting off on the right foot in most of our games,” Ebertz said. “We have been playing very well in the second half and not so well in the first. We have to defend better on set pieces. Hopefully we see a turn around this week.”

The Royals have a tough stretch of both conference and non-conference games this week. They will play White Bear Lake, last year’s state runner-up, on Thursday and a red-hot 7-0 Mahtomedi team on Saturday.

—Matthew Davis