Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
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It's just three games into the season, but Rosemount first-year head coach Brad Stepan already has a pretty good idea of the identity of his hockey team. His Irish are all about physicality over finesse. If they can outmuscle their opponents they can compete, like they did in last Tuesday's 6-4 road win over Farmington at Schmitz-Maki Arena. Saturday night the Irish matched up against a stronger Eagan team in their South Suburban Conference opener at Eagan Civic Arena and were dealt an 8-0 loss. "Playing physical is crucial.
One slip off the block gave Eagan a dual win over Rosemount in the Irish's first meet of the season last Friday at Rosemount Middle School. The leadoff swimmer of Rosemount's top 400 freestyle relay team was disqualified after slipping off the block and Eagan placed its three relays 1-4-5 to outscore the Irish 8-6 in the event and win the dual, 94-92. Rosemount had rallied to tie the score at 86-86 heading into the final event after falling behind by as many as 12 points after five events. Despite Daniel Monaghan's victory in the one-meter dive, Eagan pushed its lead to 45-33.
It's fair to say the Rosemount gymnastics team has owned the Simley Invitational. The Irish opened their season by winning the meet for the ninth year in a row Saturday, outscoring runner-up Bloomington Jefferson 132.95-129.9. Hudson, St. Anthony, Simley, Bloomington Kennedy, South St. Paul, North St. Paul and Henry Sibley rounded out the nine-team invite. "We should be competitive in all meets," said 15th-year head coach Jason Passeri. "We had 40 girls come out this year.
Turnovers and poor shooting continued to plague the Rosemount girls basketball team in its home opener last Tuesday night at Irish Gym. The Irish gave the ball away 29 times and shot just 30 percent from the field in a 68-43 loss to Wayzata. "We also gave up 11 offensive rebounds and you won't win many games when you give teams 40 extra possessions," Rosemount coach Chris Orr said.
The Rosemount girls hockey team finally got into the win column with a 4-1 South Suburban Conference triumph over rival Eastview last Thursday at the Rosemount Community Center. The Irish lost their first five games of the season, then sat through an eight-day Thanksgiving break before getting back on the ice against the Lightning. Once the eight-day layoff was over, the Irish wasted little time in getting on the board.
A few missed lay-ups kept the Rosemount girls basketball team from starting the season with a pair of victories at last weekend's Hamline Invitational in St. Paul. The Irish failed to connect on more than their share of close-range shots in a season-opening 66-60 loss to Orono Friday night, but salvaged a weekend split thanks to a defense that sparked a big first-half run in a 48-37 decision over Kenyon-Wanamingo Saturday. "We always expect to win, so we were a little disappointed we didn't come away 2-0.
Practice started last Monday. What have you learned about the team since then? We have a very young group that does not have a lot of varsity experience. The guys have a lot to learn and experience yet, but they got a lot better as the week went on. We learned a lot from our scrimmages on Saturday and they showed us what level we have to practice at every day in order to compete. Matt Nelson was lost to graduation after leading the team with 16.6 points per game.
The schedule so far this season has not been kind to the Rosemount girls hockey team. The Irish have played three teams in the state rankings and have lost all three during their 0-5 start. The latest was a 9-2 setback to fourth-ranked Lakeville North in their South Suburban Conference opener last Tuesday at Ames Arena. "In addition to working through some early-season off-ice issues, we have played three top-20 teams. While the start has been rough, there is no sign of quit from anyone associated with our team," Rosemount coach Josh Hoekstra said.
A couple of all-state performances by Megan Wenman helped the Rosemount swimming and diving team improve nine spots in the team standings with a 13th-place finish Saturday at the Class 2A state meet in Minneapolis. Wenman opened Saturday's finals at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center by swimming to a sixth-place time of 1 minute, 50.78 seconds in the 200 freestyle. The clocking earned her all-American consideration. The freshman earned the same distinction later in the meet with a second-place effort in the 100 freestyle.
Rosemount was on the wrong side of a pair of 4-2 decisions as its record dropped to 0-4 last week. The Irish fell behind 4-0 in last Tuesday's home loss to Wayzata, and then dug a 3-0 hole on the road in last Thursday's setback to Park at Cottage Grove Gardens. The visitors had a 36-31 edge in shots on goal against Park, but didn't get on the board until Kristen Reuter found the net (assists from Amanda Comstock and Alexandra Malecha) at 13:00 of the second period.