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Girls lacrosse: Irish bow out to Lakeville in section semifinals

The storybook season for the Rosemount-Eagan girls lacrosse team had to end at some point.

The Wild Irish were just hoping it would end a few games later.

While Rosemount-Eagan was celebrating the best season in team history a few days later at the team banquet, moving on right after the Wild Irish lost 18-10 against Lakeville in the Section 3 semifinals wasn't an easy task.

"It was bittersweet," Rosemount-Eagan coach Jeff Smith said. "You want to reflect on the season as a whole, but you can't do it right away after a game like that. You want to win. You want to move on to the next round. We talked about all of the things we completed during the course of the year. There were some tears because some of them knew it was the end of their high school careers. Things changed after that point.

"It's disappointing because we had chances to pull a game like that out."

As the No. 3 seed, the Wild Irish took the 18-10 loss on the road against No. 2 seed Lakeville. Lakeville won the section championship and is the No. 3 seed in this week's state tournament.

Accumulating a 12-4 record this season meant Rosemount-Eagan knew it belonged with the upper-echelon teams. Smith and his team were not ready to take any moral victories from a close loss to one of the top teams in the state.

"It would have been hard either way," Smith said of keeping it close against Lakeville. "It was satisfying being in the game. We knew Lakeville was strong. We knew we had our hands full. I think it was one of those times I think we see we can compete with teams. We need to find a way to put it together and hold them down a little longer. We definitely were in the game and were able to give them a run for their money."

The Wild Irish were giving Lakeville all it could handle early.

Rosemount-Eagan led 4-0 about eight minutes into the game and held a 6-5 advantage at halftime.

"We knew they had a lot of depth and their skill players kind of took over as the game went on," Smith said. "We had a nice start and I liked how we were playing at that point. The kids kept competing and they really stepped up."

Simone Haugen scored three goals to lead the Wild Irish. Cassie Miller finished with a goal and an assist.

Taylor Budge, Maddie Johnson, Hannah O'Donnell, and Chelsea Nelson each scored goals. Abi Rodstein and Jordan McCorkell tallied assists.

Kate Sullivan had nine saves in goal for Rosemount-Eagan.

"We were really very happy with how we competed," Smith said.