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Girls soccer: Grausnick, Knott lead goal parade

Marisa Knott scored the game winnning goal against Hermantown last week.

The goals piled up for the Rosemount girls soccer team during the first week of the regular season.

Fifteen scores helped the Irish net three road wins in less than three days. They shut out Northfield 3-0 on Thursday, and then made the trip up I-35 for a 9-1 rout of Cloquet on Friday and a 3-2 nail-biter over Hermantown on Saturday.

"We are getting scoring from multiple players, which makes us a more dynamic threat offensively. We have a lot of speed this season, which allows us to transition quickly from defense to the attack, which is putting pressure on opponents' defenses," Irish coach Kevin Adams said. "The start set a positive tone for the team and begins to create a confidence that you hope will build momentum that carries deep into the season."

The tone was set in the first half against Northfield as Marie Griffith scored on a pass from Marisa Knott at the 18-minute mark. Knott scored a goal of her own nine minutes later on a cross from Anna Grausnick to give the Irish a 2-0 halftime lead.

Defensively, the Irish held Northfield to just three shots in the first half and one in the second half. Goalkeeper Jess O'Jala was the beneficiary, earning a win and a shutout in her first varsity start.

Griffith scored her second goal of the game on a breakaway in the 64th minute.

A slow start ignited the Irish Friday afternoon against Cloquet. The Lumberjacks scored the game's first goal four minutes in, but the visitors responded with nine unanswered goals en route to the 9-1 win.

Marisa Knott tied the game in the ninth minute and Jordan Hill and Cori Seehussen followed with goals to make it 3-1 by halftime.

"We reminded the girls at half about what makes great teams. It is those teams that consistently work and understand what it takes to close out opponents and games," Adams said. "They must have heard us."

The Irish went on to outscore Cloquet 6-0 in the second half and finish with a 29-5 advantage in shots on goal. Anna Grausnick earned her first career hat trick with three second-half goals and Jenna Eichten, Kaitlyn DeBaun and Khuyen Doan each found the net for the first time this season.

Knott once again broke the ice Saturday afternoon, scoring two minutes in on a pass from Grausnick. Knott later found DeBaun for another first-half goal, but a couple of defensive breakdowns allowed Hermantown to even the score at 2-2 heading into halftime.

"We lost a bit of our rhythm and struggled a bit with connecting passes and maintaining control," Adams said. "The girls were not happy with the way they played in the first half and came out with a different energy in the second half."

That energy produced a 12-1 advantage in shots on goal. The game-winner came midway through the half when Knott received a pass from Grausnick and chipped it over the Hermantown goalie.

The Irish (3-0) continue their road-heavy early schedule this week. They faced Duluth East on Tuesday and are at Hastings this afternoon. The team plays at Prior Lake Tuesday before finally making its way over to Irish Stadium for a home game on Monday, Sept. 9, against Bloomington Jefferson.