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Girls lacrosse: Wild Irish lose pair of close games

Rosemount sophomore Sydney Lubely (No. 20) advances upfield during last week's loss to Mahtomedi for the Rosemount/Eagan girls lacrosse team.

In its last five losses this season, the Rosemount/Eagan girls lacrosse team has learned what it's like to come up just short.

The Wild Irish aren't in the midst of a long losing streak. They have won twice in their past four games.

Yet, Rosemount/Eagan's last five losses have come by a total of nine goals. The Wild Irish have lost by two goals four times, with the other coming by a single goal.

After two more close losses last week, Wild Irish coach Jeff Smith knows what his team needs to do to flip the results.

"In the two games we lost, the common denominator was allowing the opposing team a big head start largely due to slow starts by our team," Smith said. "I was proud of how the girls kept fighting and gave ourselves a chance to win, but giving very good teams a big, early lead has created more challenges than we need to face.

"We have to find a way to quit the Jekyll-and-Hyde approach to our games and find a way to play a full 50 minutes. If we figure it out, we'll beat the top teams to which we keep losing by a goal or two."

Rosemount/Eagan lost 12-10 against Mahtomedi and 11-9 against Bloomington Jefferson last week.

The slow start against Mahtomedi essentially decided the game. The Zephyrs held an 8-1 lead just 13 minutes into the game. The Wild Irish (4-6, 1-5 South Suburban) closed the first half on a 6-1 run to make it a 9-7 halftime deficit.

Simone Haugen scored six goals and had two assists for Rosemount/Eagan. Cassie Miller added two goals and three assists.

Taylor Budge, Maddie Johnson and Katelyn Paget each tallied a goal.

The start against Bloomington Jefferson was better, but Rosemount/Eagan still faced an early deficit against the No. 8 ranked Jaguars.

The Wild Irish trailed 6-3 at halftime, but took a 7-6 lead with a 4-0 start to the second half. However, they couldn't keep the momentum.

"Being the good team that they are, (the Jaguars) took advantage of our slow start," Smith said. "Again, I was very proud of how we didn't give up and actually had them on their heels for a little while in the second half, but we weren't able to finish the job largely due to the hole we created at the start."

Haugen had five goals and two assists. Budge, Miller, Lisa Crow and Johnson each scored once.