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Boys soccer: Irish ruffle feathers

Rosemount sophomore Kohl Sparrman goes after the ball during last Thursday's 1-0 loss to Apple Valley.

The Rosemount boys soccer team gave No. 1-ranked (Class 2A) and unbeaten Apple Valley all it could handle last Thursday night at Irish Stadium.

The Eagles hung on for a 1-0 South Suburban Conference victory -- their fourth straight via shutout -- but the Irish didn't go down without a fight. Physical play in the second half resulted in several heated exchanges between Apple Valley players and coaches and the officials, and even between fans of the two teams as they exited the stands.

The way Rosemount coach Mike Floersch saw it, his team was just matching Apple Valley's intensity and the opposing coaches overreacted.

"In the second half our team started to get fired up and play their game. Apple Valley didn't like our aggressive play, which is kind of ironic seeing that it is their style as well," he said. "It caught them off guard and their coaches started to lose it a bit.... The game wasn't actually that bad, their coaches just made it seem bigger than it was and that in turn got their players and parents heated."

The extracurricular activity overshadowed what was a competitive showing for the Irish against an Eagles team that entered with a record of 10-0-2.

"It was a good game and hard fought, especially in the last 15 minutes," Floersch said. "That game proved to our players that we can play with anyone in this state. I was proud of how they played."

The Irish (8-6) traveled to Burnsville Tuesday and are on the road again tonight when they take on sixth-rated Eastview in the final game of the regular season.