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Boys lacrosse: Irish struggles in second half

Last week's two South Suburban Conference games reinforced for the Rosemount boys lacrosse team the importance of playing a full game.

In last Tuesday's showdown with No. 1-ranked Eastview, the No. 6-ranked Irish got a bit too comfortable after establishing an early lead and allowed the undefeated Lightning to rally in the second half for an 8-7 victory under the lights at Irish Stadium.

The team once again got out to a fast start Thursday in Apple Valley, but nearly saw another lead slip away. After leading 7-0 at halftime, the Irish had to hang on for a 9-7 win over the Eagles.

"That (Apple Valley) game was closer than it should have been. Everyone was kind of happy with being up 7-0 and they got lazy. We didn't score at all in the fourth quarter," Rosemount coach Lance Kuehn said. "The team is learning the valuable lesson that they have to play for four quarters, for 48 minutes as a team to be successful. On defense we need six players knowing where everyone is at the same time and the offense needs to focus on our plays and know their roles on each play. We need the guys to work together cohesively and not stand around watching the other guys play."

The Irish also hit a scoring lull against Eastview, scoring just three goals over the second and third quarters after taking a 3-1 lead in the first. The Lightning tied the score at 6-6 heading into the final 12 minutes and moved ahead 8-6 before the Irish found the net with less than three minutes remaining.

Rosemount had two shots to tie the game in the final minute, with the second glancing off the pipe with two seconds left.

"They were a really good team and we matched up well with them," Kuehn said. "We got up early and then lost the wind in our sails. We had a few too many penalties in the third quarter and had to play too much on defense. Once they tied it up we got a little rushed and didn't play together."

Matt Weller paced the Irish with three goals and two assists. Carter Yepsen scored twice and Jake Mortenson and Chris Peterson each scored once. Trent Woodcock added an assist.

Goaltender Chase Olson faced 17 Eastview shots on goal and saved nine.

Weller once again set the pace Thursday, scoring four goals on five shots. Conner Yepsen contributed two goals and one assist and Carter Yepsen had one goal and two assists.

Mortenson and Peterson each scored once.

Olson stopped 11 shots in the win.

The Irish hosted third-ranked Eagan Tuesday at Irish Stadium and are back home tomorrow night against Lakeville South. The regular season wraps up next week with road games at Bloomington Kennedy and Rochester Mayo.