Boys lacrosse: Fantastic forwards
The return of forwards Carter Yepsen, Conner Yepsen and Grant VanOverbeke has the Rosemount boys lacrosse team ready to go after its fourth straight 10-win season, and score a whole lot of goals in the process.
The threesome combined for 141 points a season ago when the Irish went 12-4, finished third in a tough South Suburban Conference and averaged over 13 goals a game.
"With the guys we have back we're going to build off last year's success. The younger guys we have back know what roles they have to fill. We plan on being a 10-win team," Rosemount coach Lance Kuehn said. "Offensively we're going to be a high-powered team."
Carter Yepsen is the Irish's lone returning first-team all-conference performer after scoring 32 goals and handing out 26 assists a season ago. Conner Yepsen (27 goals, 13 assists) and VanOverbeke (29 goals, 14 assists) join him as three-year starters.
Joining them up front will be Garrick Swanson, who led the Irish JV in scoring last season and has put in a lot of off-season work, according to Kuehn.
Trent Woodcock serves as yet another scoring threat at midfield where he earned 18 points last season. He is joined by defensive midfielder Mitch Anderson, who is entering his fifth year as a starter, and Andrew Haisting, who could take on a bigger offensive role this season, as well.
The Irish's high-powered offense could come in handy as they are replacing four senior starters on the defensive side of the field. Bobby Price and Riley Rutten are the lone holdovers on a unit that will otherwise be filled out by first-year varsity players.
"Defense is our concern. We're going to try to possess more on offense and get higher-percentage shots," Kuehn said. "It's fun to run and gun but that leaves your defense to face more opportunities. We want to limit the other team's offense."
The last line of defense for the Irish will be senior goaltender Chase Olson, who enters his third year as a starter. Last year he sported a 7.81 goals-against average and stopped 54 percent of opponent's shots.
"He's our quiet leader. He gets so many things thrown at him. He gets hit in the head, the shoulder, the arm, and he never complains," Kuehn said. "He just keeps playing."
The Irish will be tested early as they face three state-ranked teams in their first three games. They host Minnetonka for their season opener April 18 at Irish Stadium and then begin South Suburban play with Eastview and Eagan.
"We have the toughest section and the toughest conference," Kuehn said. "We all play extremely tough schedules in the conference and section, so there's no easy path. We're going to have to be on our 'A' game all the time."