Utah Royals drop 6th straight in 1-0 home loss to Washington


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SANDY — The bad news? The Utah Royals have lost six consecutive matches. The good news? They've allowed just three goals over the last three matches.

Saturday at America First Field marked the third 1-0 loss in a row for the NWSL's last-place team as the top-two Washington Spirit came to town and dominated for much of the game.

"We've been knocking on the door this whole season," head coach Amy Rodriguez said. "We've been that close so many times, but unfortunately you don't get points for being close."

Goalkeeper Mandy Haught was one of the few bright spots on the day for the Royals, holding the Spirit to just one goal thanks to her six saves.

"We talked about having championship-level goalkeeper in order to win a championship and our eyes are set on that," Rodriguez said of Haught. "If she continues to do her job, that's half the battle, and the other half is then handling our end of things in the final third and creating those opportunities for other goalkeepers to make big-time saves."

The lone goal came from Kate Wiesner in the 26th minute as Washington lived in or around the Utah box with the majority of possession and 10 shots on goal.

Utah managed four shots on goal in a valiant attacking effort led by captain Paige Monaghan and star rookie Ally Sentnor. The team's scoreless drought extended, nonetheless, to three games.

"There is no denying that this group is in a rough patch and we are getting knocked down over and over and over again," Rodriguez said. "But it's in times like this where I, as a coach, evaluate my team and say, 'Who's bringing the positive attitude to Monday morning training? Who's showing up when it's dark and bringing in the light?"

Monaghan is one of those driving positive forces on the team and spoke about Rodriguez's message after Saturday's loss and her expectations going through the rough patch.

"She knows that we have so much potential and she knows we have so much in us so she just wants us to keep going," Monaghan said. "Who's gonna get it done and how are we going to get it done collectively?"

The Royals still have a lengthy injury list despite coming off of a two-week break and will be away from Utah until the end of June with road matches at Bay FC on June 16 and the Orlando Pride on June 21.

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

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