Boys lacrosse: Irish plan to attack the goal
This year's senior class will be the last of the classes that started the Rosemount boys lacrosse team with Irish coach Lance Kuehn four years ago.
The nostalgia is not lost on Kuehn. Yet, it's also a chance for the coach to see how far the program has come in four years.
"We've had some good practices," Kuehn said earlier this week. "We've been talking about how it's been four years and we are leaps and bounds better than we were back then. This is the last of the classes I started with four years ago. You can really see how the process has come together. More players are in youth leagues and that is paying off. We have some amazing starters this year. That's going to be a key for us."
Rosemount has improved each season and made a good step forward last season. Kuehn and the Irish hope to continue the growth this year. Several players that were key contributors last season return, adding to the optimism.
"We've got a few key things going for us," Kuehn said. "We've got three of our top five scorers back, which is awesome. Ben Lucius is a returning captain. His linemate is Nick Lutterman. Matt Weller made a big difference in the Apple Valley playoff game last year. We have strong returners and we have some newcomers."
Lucius and Lutterman will be captains this season. Both midfielders are seniors. Lucius was all-section third team last year.
Weller, a sophomore, will be one of the key attackers. Freshman Mitch Anderson could also factor in as an attacker.
Senior Zach Long will play defense, providing support for goaltender Tanner Fandrick. Sophomore Jake Mortenson and senior Brian Thomas will be midfielders.
All of those returning players are eyeing further improvement as Rosemount opens the season on Monday, April 12 at home against Rochester John Marshall.
"We went 7-8 last year and we're looking to get better," Kuehn said. "We want to get above .500. We had a couple of overtime games and we're looking to repeat those wins, but not go into overtime. We challenged a lot of the new guys on varsity. We probably had 15 graduate last year and we have 12 new guys in the program. It's going to be a challenge for them under the lights in the high pressure games."
Newcomers include senior Andrew Paget, who will play defense, sophomore Jake O'Malley, a long-stick midfielder, and sophomore Logan Lindberg, a midfielder.
"Our strength will lie in the transition game," Kuehn said. "We should be a fast team and should score goals on transition, catching the other team running around trying to figure out who to mark.
"Most of our games will end up being high scoring. That's how I see us. We work on our transition game every day. Guys understand that."