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Girls soccer: Irish meet lofty expectations in first week

The Rosemount girls soccer team opened the season with back-to-back road victories last week.

The Irish beat Cloquet 4-0 last Friday, then returned to the field for a 3-1 win over a physical Hermantown Saturday afternoon.

"Hermantown presented some challenges for us with their physical play," Rosemount coach Kevin Adams said. "We rely on our speed and had to make some adjustments because Hermantown neutralized that with their style of play. The effects of two games in less than 24 hours was apparent as we started off the game sluggish."

The Irish were able to work through the slow start and take a 1-0 lead 19 minutes on when senior midfielder Piper Murray scored on an assist from senior Becca Newman. Adams said the goal created a spark that energized the team and set the stage for another goal, this time by Jess Priest at the 33-minute mark on a cross from Marisa Knott.

"Even though we held a 2-0 lead at half, we knew much more work had to be done as Hermantown was very motivated to defeat us and had no quit in them," Adams said. "I credit these kids for the effort and courage they showed and know it will pay dividends as the season wears on."

The momentum stayed on Rosemount's side in the second half. The Irish scored two minutes in on a lofting shot over the Hermantown goaltender. Kaylie Hanson provided the assist.

Hermantown finally got on the board at the 10-minute mark to make it 3-1. Goaltender Kate Mallory stopped the other four shots she faced to pick up her second win in as many games.

Rosemount finished with a 31-5 edge in shots on goal.

Mallory had to stop just one Cloquet shot as an Irish defense led by seniors Shannon Carroll, Mel Simonson and Jackie Kemnic helped keep the ball out of the box in Friday's 4-0 triumph.

Meanwhile, the Rosemount offense produced 28 shots. Hanson got the scoring started at the 12-minute mark, scoring on a pass from Hannah Halterman. Halterman then scored the team's next two goals, with both coming courtesy of assists by Simonson.

Priest capped the scoring with a goal at the 21-minute mark of the second half, with Simonson providing her third assist.

"Our constant offensive pressure kept Cloquet off balance and seemed to wear them down as the game progressed. We had 28 shots for the game generated by 10 different players," Adams said. "We did some good things but also realized we have alot of work left to do to get where we want to go this season."

The Irish (2-0) hosted Shakopee Tuesday night and are back at Irish Stadium at 7 p.m. tonight when they take on International School of Minnesota.