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DEFENSE FUELS ROYALS WIN OVER EAGLES

The ND Royals defeated the Harvest Eagles Thursday evening at the Leo Palace soccer field after receiving goals from strikers Destiny Castro and Randi Paulino in the first half.

By Robert Balajadia

NDs Destiny Castro kicks the corner kick against Harvest. (photo by Joey Blas)

NDs Destiny Castro kicks the corner kick against Harvest. (photo by Joey Blas)

The ND Royals defeated the Harvest Eagles Thursday evening at the Leo Palace soccer field 2-0 after receiving goals from strikers Destiny Castro and Randi Paulino in the first half. The offense has been playing great of late, but the real makeup of the Royals winning season has been their defense.

Even though most of the Royals’ defensive players against the Eagles consisted of their second string, along with defensive leader Demie Brennan due to injury, they still managed to keep the Eagles from bothering goalie Santos for the duration of the evening.

“What we build upon is our defense, out focus is our defense and they are the backbone of this team right now,” commented Royals head coach Kate Walsh on the teams overall defensive performance. “Our goal is to not let any goals in. There’s still room for improvement, but today our defense was solid.”

The had only attempted four shots at goal in the first half, and Santos only needed to come out to contest twice. The second half was a different in the Eagles as far as offensive possession, but the ND defense was still too tough to get through.

Santos had to contest on five different occasions, and the Eagles forwards got close to scoring in the 60th minute off a corner. Santos was well on the attempt, clearing the ball for the ND forwards to play keep away.

Castro struck first blood in the early goings, taking a shot right in front of her teammates on the sideline for what appeared to be a 30-yard score at the 9th minute.

Paulino’s score came at the 30th minute after also taking a shot from over 20 yards out to keep the high ball out of reach from the Eagles keeper.

ND had three other chances to score, off two consecutive corner kicks, but the Eagles managed to keep the score within striking distance for the games duration. Though, the Royals defense didn’t let up.

With the season winding down to its final week the Royals still have just one loss and one tie aside from picking up their 8th win against the Eagles. ND stuck with a heavy rotation all game long, and the subs came in and played strong enough to keep the Eagles starters at bay.

“My goal is to make these girls better overall soccer players. They are improving every game and as long as there is improvement then I am happy,” added Walsh.

PHOTO GALLERY:

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Harvest Natha Hennegan heads towards the sideline and passes the ball to her teammate. (photo by Joey Blas)

Harvest Natha Hennegan heads towards the sideline and passes the ball to her teammate. (photo by Joey Blas)

NDs Taylor Paulino steals the ball and dribbles to midfield. (photo by Joey Blas)

NDs Taylor Paulino steals the ball and dribbles to midfield. (photo by Joey Blas)

NDs Paris Blas goes up and heads the ball to gain possession on their end of the field. (photo by Joey Blas)

NDs Paris Blas goes up and heads the ball to gain possession on their end of the field. (photo by Joey Blas)

Harvest Nicole Lujan takes control of the ball and dribbles towards the sideline. (photo by Joey Blas)

Harvest Nicole Lujan takes control of the ball and dribbles towards the sideline. (photo by Joey Blas)

NDs Amy Cruz passes the ball to her teammate downfield. (photo by Joey Blas)

NDs Amy Cruz passes the ball to her teammate downfield. (photo by Joey Blas)

NDs Destiny Castro takes a shot at the goal, but her shot sailed far right of the goal post. (photo by Joey Blas)

NDs Destiny Castro takes a shot at the goal, but her shot sailed far right of the goal post. (photo by Joey Blas)

NDs Destiny Castro dribbles her way pass two defenders and makes her way to the goal line. (photo by Joey Blas)

NDs Destiny Castro dribbles her way pass two defenders and makes her way to the goal line. (photo by Joey Blas)

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