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Boys soccer: A stellar start

Two games into the season the Rosemount boys soccer team is right where it was hoping to be - 2-0.

The Irish shut out Farmington 2-0 in an evenly-matched season opener last Thursday night at Irish Stadium and came back Friday afternoon to defeat Cloquet, 2-1. The team's first 2-0 start in at least six years is made even more promising by the fact that the Irish offense produced four goals in two games. They scored two goals in a game just once over their final 15 games last season and tallied eight total goals during that span.

"Our goal for the week was to go 2-0. We accomplished our goal and we have started the season on a great note. We still have a lot of work, but what team doesn't? I'm really proud of how the guys have practiced and played to this point," veteran Irish coach Mike Floersch said. "We feel like we can find a way to put the ball in the back of the net this year. We hope to continue the scoring."

Floersch also expects his team to have more depth this year, based on what he's seen in try-outs and the first two weeks of practice.

"The players come to practice ready to play hard. We are deeper than we have been in the last few years which is nice," he said. "I have players on the varsity bench and on the JV that I feel like I can call on to step on the field at any time and they will do well. The players' attitudes have been great and they feel like they can win, which always makes coaching that much easier."

A late flourish of goals carried the Irish to victory in last Thursday's opener after they played Farmington to a scoreless tie for nearly 70 minutes. Biruk Tefera finally lit up the scoreboard with a goal on a pass from Andrew Weiler with about 10 minutes to go and shorty after a Chandler Storer shot from in the box resulted in a hand ball that set up a penalty kick goal for Kohl Sparrman.

The game was called due to lightning with about four minutes remaining.

Junior goalkeeper Tanner Rons picked up the shutout in his first career start. Rons, Royal Roark and Thomas Glidden are rotating starts between the pipes to start the season.

Back at Irish Stadium Friday afternoon, Biruk once again opened the scoring with an unassisted goal. He then assisted on a Garrett Groth left-footed score that turned out to be the game-winner.

Roark started in goal and saved five shots for his first career win.

"We came out flat against Cloquet, but that was to be expected because we had played about 12 hours earlier," Floersch said. "The boys were tired and it was hot, so it wasn't surprising."

The Irish traveled to Shakopee Tuesday and are on the road for another non-conference contest tonight at Rochester Century. The team returns home Tuesday for its South Suburban Conference opener against Lakeville North.