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Girls soccer: Hanging with the leaders

The Rosemount girls soccer team's ability to bounce back from its worst loss of the season has it in position to play for second place in perhaps the state's toughest conference heading into the final week of the regular season.

The Irish, after falling 4-0 to Lakeville South on its home field two weeks ago, responded with a 5-1 road win at Bloomington Kennedy last Tuesday. The victory improved the team to 4-2-1 in the South Suburban Conference, good enough for a tie for fourth with third-ranked (Class 2A) Eagan. No. 1 Lakeville North, No. 4 Burnsville and No. 7 Eastview occupy the top three spots in the league.

The Irish (10-3-1) close out the regular season this week. They hosted Eastview on Tuesday and travel to Eagan for a 7 p.m. showdown tonight.

"I am very proud of these girls because they put in the work every day in practices and games," Rosemount coach Kevin Adams said. "They are also very unselfish as evidenced by 13 different players with goals this season. You never know whose turn it will be the next night, but it creates a lot of fun and excitement. The girls want to get to that next level and continue to push themselves to that end."

Four different players scored goals last Tuesday at Kennedy. Junior attacker Hannah Halterman netted the first two, pushing her team lead to nine. Jana Elliott added an unassisted score four minutes before halftime and the Irish went into the break up 3-0.

"We cautioned them against overlooking a struggling Kennedy team," Adams said. "Teams that have nothing to lose often prove very dangerous. The girls took this to heart as they started quickly."

Maddie Phillips scored a goal 12 minutes into the second half on an assist from Abby Chihantek to make it 4-0. Phillips later assisted on Becca Newman's goal.

Rosemount finished with a 16-2 advantage in shots on goal.

The Irish were back in action last Thursday when they pulled away from North St. Paul 3-1 in a non-conference game at Irish Stadium.

The game stayed scoreless until Kaylie Hanson netted an unassisted goal at the 28-minute mark of the first half.

Elliott added a pair of second-half goals as the Irish extended their lead. The first came two minutes after the break on an assist from Phillips and the second was unassisted.

The Irish finished with a 13-8 shot advantage.