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Lacrosse preview: Everybody's back for Rosemount lacrosse

The expectations just keep getting greater and greater for the Rosemount boys lacrosse team.

A new program just a few years ago, the Irish have climbed their way up to become one of the top programs in the state. They followed up a 10-5 season with a 13-2 campaign last year that culminated in the program's first conference championship, but ended with a 14-13 upset at the hands of Burnsville in the section semifinals.

"Everyone is jazzed up, the coaches, people in the community and the players are geared up for the season," said Rosemount coach Lance Kuehn, whose team ended the season ranked fifth. "We have everybody back and a few JV guys who have put in extra time, so we're looking to fill out a very competitive roster. Unfortunately, that means we have a huge target on our back."

When Kuehn says everybody's back, he means it. Last year's team featured no seniors, meaning the Irish will go into the season with established players at every position. The team's high-powered offense is led by Grant VanOverbeke, who had 48 goals last regular season, and Matt Weller, who had 45 goals and 18 assists. Jake Mortenson, Logan Lindberg and Carter Yepsen are all back after 20-20 seasons (goals and assists) and Conner Yepsen is expected to be another big contributor after missing part of the season due to injury.

"Not many teams can match us offensively six-on-six," Kuehn said. "Our top six is pretty rock solid. Every one one of them is a threat to score."

The Irish also look to be ready to improve on defense after averaging just under eight goals allowed per game during the regular season. Jake O'Malley, Matt Larsen and Gabe Moulier lead the defense.

"We won games 15-10 last year. We're not going to be giving up those 10 this year," Kuehn said. "We're going to be much stronger than we have been in the past."

The defense will operate in front of goalkeeper Chase Olson, who's back after recording 119 saves last season.

"I worked with him all summer. He's ready and wants to have a successful season," Kuehn said. "He knows it's important to be great in goal."

The Irish open the season April 9 at East Ridge. Their first home game is April 20 against Woodbury.