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Woodbury girls soccer: Eleventh-straight conference title now a long shot

Andrea Lenartz and Woodbury tied White Bear Lake 1-1 last week after beating Roseville 2-0.

Woodbury couldn't seize on a chance to climb the Suburban East rankings last week in a clash between two elite Minnesota girls soccer teams.

Woodbury (No. 10, Class AA) battled to a tie against No. 6-ranked White Bear Lake Thursday, Sept. 27. A win against the Bears would have put Woodbury within one point of the SEC lead with a week to play.

Instead, the Royals earned just one conference point with the tie against White Bear Lake and remain in fourth place.

Earlier in the week, Woodbury topped Roseville 2-0.

The Royals have one week left to climb the rankings and defend its 10-year reign atop the SEC. It is possible - two Woodbury wins would put the Royals at 5-1-3 in the conference.

Meanwhile, first-place White Bear Lake (5-0-2 SEC) faces Forest Lake (1-6 SEC) and Stillwater (5-1-1). The Stillwater-White Bear Lake matchup could prove pivotal in the rankings; if neither game comes away from the week with more than a tie, the Royals could nip them and secure a share of the conference title if they go undefeated.

If either White Bear Lake or Stillwater wins this week, however, Woodbury would be mathematically eliminated from the title. Further complicating matters is the chance that upstart Park (4-1-2) could also finish strong.

In the White Bear Lake game, Woodbury fell behind 1-0 in the first half. Senior midfielder Elizabeth Nelson's second-half goal preserved the tie. Sophomore Danielle Nelson scored the assist.

Against Roseville, the Royals built a 1-0 first-half lead and added to it in the second half. Senior Kristina White and junior Madison Gaffney combined for a goal apiece in the game. Goalkeeper Liz Sampson earned the shutout for Woodbury.

Sarah Apanian, a junior, and senior Lisa Huska both recorded assists against Roseville.

The Royals played Hastings (0-7-0 SEC) Tuesday, Oct. 2, after the Bulletin went to press. Woodbury's season finale is Thursday, Oct. 4, at home against Mounds View (3-4 SEC).