Royals earn first shutout in cold draw against Houston at home

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SANDY — Just like the sliver of sunlight that poked through the clouds for a couple of minutes Saturday afternoon at America First Field, the Utah Royals found a narrow silver lining in a 0-0 draw with the Houston Dash.

The tie marked the first shutout on the season for the Royals after allowing five goals on the road last week in Louisville. Though a win and some goals of their own would have been ideal, Utah will have to take its bright spots when they come, however small they may seem.

"We, obviously, left last weekend with a sour taste in our mouths," head coach Amy Rodriguez said. "And to see my group bounce back and get our first clean sheet for the season; super proud of our group for doing that. It takes all 11 of us to do it."

A chilly afternoon in Sandy reflected the action on the field, or lack thereof, with both teams going cold in front of goal. The Royals still managed seven shots on goal, but Houston keeper Jane Campbell came up with four saves to keep things level.

The frustration reached a boiling point when Rodriguez was assessed a red card at the end of the match for "delaying the restart of the opponent" by grabbing the ball before a throw-in.

"You're kind of finding me in a bad mood right now, and I'm in a bad mood because of the result, nothing else," Rodriguez said. "It was a very emotional game: a lot of highs, a lot of opportunities (and) goalscoring chances. My group was knocking on the door all day long. We just couldn't get the finish."

Newcomer Amandine Henry made her debut as a starter for the Royals and assisted in the shutout as a defensive midfielder.

"She's a veteran," goalkeeper Mandy Haught said of Henry. "She really held down that midfield and got some good shots. We're so happy to have her, and I think her debut was great."

The Royals stay at home to take on Angel City FC on Friday, May 3.

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Caleb Turner covers Real Salt Lake as the team's beat writer for, in addition to his role where he oversees the sports team's social media accounts.


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