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Soccer: Irish find an unexpected spark

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When the Rosemount boys soccer team went to halftime on Tuesday tied with Chanhassen, Irish coach Mike Floersch feared the worst.

Rosemount wasn't playing its best against the first-year Chanhassen squad. Floersch was worried about a letdown early in the second half.

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It happened. The Storm scored 30 seconds into the second half.

"They were playing well in the first half, and our passing had been terrible," Floersch recalls thinking. "It was like we were getting rid of the ball right away instead of playing the game. No one was really hustling, except Dalton Cunningham. I felt the players were out there like they had never played the game before. I didn't know what to do. I hadn't seen that team all year."

During halftime, Floersch had some instructive words. Again, they came true.

"I told them, 'You're playing down. Usually you are the type of team that plays up,'" Floersch said. "'That's why teams don't like to play us. Teams that play up a level work hard. Tonight you're not and they will get you unless you wake up."

What Floersch didn't know was the wake-up call would come from an unlikely source.

When Chanhassen scored, it seemed to spark the Irish.

In the second half against Chanhassen, Justin Wendel scored with an assist to Sam Temple. Temple scored on an assist to Estifanos Fairchild. Dalton Cunningham finished the scoring with a goal on an assist to Wendel.

Rosemount lost 1-0 to Lakeville North last week, but the Irish recovered to beat Rochester Century, 1-0, in overtime.

They finished the comeback against Chanhassen on Tuesday, earning a 3-1 win.

"We figured we had a good group of guys that will work hard to get to the best point we can be," Floersch said. "But they also have to believe. It's also the same group that can fall apart very quickly."

Last week, Floersch talked about how important a victory would be to his team.

The Irish (3-5, 1-2 Lake) opened the season with a win, but then suffered five straight losses.

Floersch knew his team would be able to gain some momentum if it could just earn a couple of victories.

"Isn't it amazing what a couple of wins can do to turn things around?" Floersch said.

The Irish went into overtime scoreless against Rochester Century. Rosemount earned the win after converting off of a corner kick.

Wendel had the crossing pass to Fairchild, and Jared Sipe scored the goal on a header.

Goaltender Nicholas Osborn earned the shutout for the Irish.

"Nicholas Osborn continues to play big for us in the net with Jared Sipe and Andrew Huderle controlling the middle," Floersch said.

After a Thursday game at Bloomington Kennedy, the Irish host Hastings tomorrow. No. 6 ranked Eden Prairie comes to Rosemount next week.

Floersch said the goal for the Irish was to reach a .500 record by the end of the week.

And lately Rosemount has been making Floersch's words come true.

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