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Girls soccer: Season ends in semifinals

Entering Monday's section semifinal game, Rosemount girls soccer coach Kevin Adams warned of falling behind to Eastview.

Using the first game between the two teams as an example, Adams and the Irish knew they didn't want to trail against the Lightning because it would change the complexion of the game.

When Eastview gets a lead, they collapse back into the defensive zone and make it tough for opponents to score. That happened in a 2-0 loss for Rosemount in the final week of the regular season.

Adams warned his team not to fall victim to the same strategy.

But the Irish had more lessons to learn. Things get tougher in the postseason, more physical, more intense.

"It was a very intense game, extremely physical," Adams said. "We're a little more of a possession, finesse team. Eastview is a more physical, grind-it-out type team. That eventually wore us down a bit."

Rosemount, seeded third, lost 4-2 at Eastview on Monday, ending a breakthrough season for the Irish.

Eastview is an experienced playoff team. The Irish were not. The Lightning were in the semifinals last season. Rosemount was enjoying one of its best seasons in recent history just by making it to the semifinals.

"Eastview has been there before," Adams said. "Last year they were in the same position with a lot of the same kids. Their coach was able to motivate them based on last year. I told our girls, 'This is all new for us.' Everything was new leading up to that point, our first home game, then in the semifinals. We hadn't been there before. We weren't used to the pressure of that type of game."

Physicality and experience go a long way in the postseason.

Once the Lightning got a second-half lead, the Irish couldn't mount a comeback.

"At that point, I think Eastview's experience took over," Adams said of losing the lead. "I think we were a little worn down at that point and they basically were able to finish the deal. I thought we played very, very well. I thought we matched them. Their playoff experience, their ability to finish a game and go the full 80 minutes is what made the difference."

Eastview took a 1-0 lead, but Rosemount was able to come back early on. Sarah Scinto converted on a penalty kick to tie the score and Shade Pratt scored later with an assist to Grace Raatz to give the Irish a 2-1 lead.

Eastview then scored three unanswered goals in the second half.

"For our future, we saw the intensity that occurs as we go through the section and try to get to the finals," Adams said. "You see better and better teams. The focus, intensity and urgency picks up. The physical play picks up. Everyone wants to win. The girls got to see what is necessary to advance and get to the state tournament. That's a valuable lesson and we'll hope we can draw on that next year."