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Girls soccer: Pratt's goal keeps squad unbeaten

Rosemount junior midfielder Piper Murray chases down the ball during last week's 2-0 home win over Farmington.

The Rosemount girls soccer team has high hopes this season and the Irish were prepared to test themselves early on in the schedule.

Attempting to take another step forward after reaching the section semifinals last season, Rosemount knew it would need to be battle-tested before reaching the playoffs. The early-season schedule this year was certainly designed to see what the Irish could stand.

Rosemount opened the season with eight games in 19 days. Only two of those were played on the Irish's home field.

When Rosemount finished a 1-0 victory at Burnsville on Monday -- their fourth game in seven days -- Irish coach Kevin Adams could see the weariness in his team.

"Fatigue was present in the Irish squad, which might, in part, be from the recent grueling schedule," Adams said. "Burnsville used a very physical style to neutralize our speed and they outshot us 15-5 for the game. We were fortunate enough to keep Burnsville off the scoreboard despite their relentless attack."

And, despite the schedule, Rosemount has passed its early-season test. The Irish (7-0-1, 1-0-1 South Suburban) continued their surge over the past week. After a 2-2 tie against Eagan last week, Rosemount hosted Farmington and earned a 2-0 win. Two days later, the Irish beat Hastings, 3-0, on the field at Dakota County Technical College.

Monday's 1-0 win at Burnsville didn't come easily, but Rosemount closed out the victory.

With about three minutes remaining in the second half, Shade Pratt scored for the Irish. Rosemount's Brooke Stevens took a pass about 30 yards from the goal and chipped the ball over the Burnsville defense, where Pratt ran it down and hit the net for the game's lone goal.

Sophomore goalkeeper Kate Mallory posted another shutout -- her seventh of the season -- with 12 saves. She has allowed just two goals all season and has a save percentage of almost 93 percent.

The close contest was a stark contrast from last week's games against Farmington and Hastings.

Rosemount outshot Farmington 16-2 in the game. Pratt scored in the first half and Piper Murray connected in the second half.

"We didn't play particularly well, which may have been due to all the emotion put forth in the Eagan game," Adams said.

Pratt scored twice against Hastings with Rebecca Newman adding the other tally. Maddie Phillips had two assists and Hannah Halterman assisted on one goal.

"We played much better in this game," Adams said. "We were able to re-establish our possession game that we got away from in the Farmington game, and we played with more urgency and purpose."

Stevens and Halterman scored for the Irish against Eagan in the conference opener for Rosemount.

The Irish host Lakeville North today.