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Boys lacrosse: Back on top

Rosemount’s Trent Woodcock carries the ball up the field during a recent win over Bloomington Jefferson in Bloomington. The Irish won two more games last week and moved back into the No. 1 spot in the state rankings.

All it took was five straight blowout victories to get the Rosemount boys lacrosse team back into the top spot in the state rankings.

Since falling 12-10 on the road at Prior Lake, the 9-1 Irish have outscored their last five opponents by a combined 80-27. That dominant stretch of play, coupled with Prior Lake’s one-goal loss to Bloomington Jefferson and one-goal wins over Burnsville, Eastview and Edina, were enough to put the Irish back at No. 1 heading into the final week of the regular season.

The latest Irish wins came at home, a 20-6 rout of Bloomington Kennedy last Thursday at Irish Stadium and a 19-5 decision over Lakeville North Monday at the Irish Dome.

“Everything is coming together very harmoniously. We’re clicking on all cylinders. I’m proud of the boys from top to bottom,” Rosemount coach Lance Kuehn said. “The ranking is a point of pride, but what’s really meaningful is that we have eight more games until we reach our goal. We want to make sure we win those eight — every playoff game and every state game.”

Aspirations for a state title have been fueled by the Irish’s improved defensive play this season. Returning defensive leader Bobby Price anchors the seven-player group, along with Teddy Moeller and Justin Crowell. The team is among the state leaders, having allowed 59 goals in 10 games.

“The defense has been the difference between last year and this year,” Kuehn said. “They are locking people down. Lakeville North’s top scorers had been good for four, five or six points per game and our guys are holding players like that to one or two. They’re carrying us, which is awesome.”

The Irish’s offense hasn’t been too shabby, either. Eight players scored goals against North, led by Conner Yepsen and Luke VanOverbeke, who supplied four goals apiece. Garrick Swanson had a hat trick and one assist and Mason Hille tossed in two goals and assisted on three more.

Carter Yepsen supplied two goals and two assists and David Blanco added two goals. Simon Hatlen and Trent Woodcock also netted single goals.

“We’re spreading the ball around and everybody is doing their fair share,” Kuehn said. “We make sure that everyone is a threat, and if they try to take away our No. 1 guys, our No. 2 guys are better than their No. 2 guys.”

Goalie Shaun Skrbec faced just 12 shots against the Panthers and stopped seven of them. Last Thursday against Kennedy he needed to make just two saves in a 20-6 win.

Hille and Swanson each finished the game with four goals. Carter Yepsen provided two goals and three assists, Conner Yepsen scored a hat trick and VanOverbeke had a goal and two assists.

David Blanco and Matt Johnson each netted a pair of goals and Brett Anderson chipped in with the first two goals of his varsity career.

The Irish close out the regular season tonight at home against St. Thomas Academy.