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Royals drop close contest to Eagan

Kim Taplin provided multiple scoring chances for the Royals, but Woodbury couldn’t cash in as it fell 1-0 to Eagan on Aug. 26. (Bulletin photos by Jace Frederick)1 / 2
Michaela Norve looks to advance the ball up the field during Woodbury’s 1-0 loss to Eagan on Aug. 26 at Woodbury High School. 2 / 2

Woodbury fell 1-0 to Eagan on Aug. 26 at Woodbury High School. It was the club’s second straight loss.

But the feeling after the match was one of positivity from Royals’ head coach Pat Malicki.

“I’m 100 percent encouraged,” he said.

That’s because the Royals, who were beat up 3-0 by Eden Prairie three days earlier, played stride for stride alongside a tough Wildcats team.

Those types of competitive battles against top-notch competition will only help the Royals grow before they hit the Suburban East schedule.

“It helps us a ton,” Malicki said. … We come back here and play another tough team and we were right there the whole game, so it’s encouraging.”

Woodbury was right there, literally on the doorstep of an equalizing goal a couple of times late in the game, but after a header from Lauren Stuber banged off the crossbar, and an outside shot from Kim Taplin was swatted away by the Eagan keeper, the Royals found themselves still scoreless and on the short end of the one-goal game as time expired.

Through three games Woodbury is 1-2, but Malicki feels good about his club’s potential.

“I learned right now if we want to work in training sessions and games -- work together and keep a good attitude, it’ll be a very, very good team,” he said.

Woodbury takes on Burnsville on the road Thursday night.