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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After last Saturday's heartbreaking 5-4 overtime loss to Lakeville North, the Rosemount boys hockey team set a goal of going 4-0 in its next four games. So far, so good. The Irish bounced back from the setback with a road sweep of the Apple Valley schools last week. They handed an 8-5 Eastview squad its second shutout of the season with a 3-0 whitewash last Tuesday and came back to put away Apple Valley 4-1 on Saturday.
Baskets were hard to come by for Rosemount Friday night at third-ranked (Class 4A) Bloomington Kennedy. The Irish managed just nine field goals and scored their season low by 17 points in a 63-26 conference loss to the 11-2 Eagles. "There is a reason they're the No. 3 team in the state and they showed us that on Friday night," Rosemount coach Chris Orr said. "Defensively, for the most part we executed our game plan and forced them to beat us from the outside.
Seventh-grader Josie Schlie had another big day in leading Rosemount to fourth place out of 17 teams Saturday at the Faribault Invitational. Despite a season-low score of 31.9 on the uneven bars, the Irish turned in their second highest team score with a 138.7. Northfield pulled away from the pack with a score of 147.425 and Winona (143.65) and Owatonna (141.625) rounded out the top three. Schlie placed in the top five in vault, balance beam and floor exercise and came in fifth overall with an all-around score of 36.925.
Rosemount came up just short in its bid for a four-goal comeback Saturday night against Lakeville North. The Irish overcame a 4-0 first-period deficit to force overtime before falling 5-4 on a goal by North's Matthew Arnold 4:45 into overtime at Rosemount Community Center. "We lost the game in overtime, but we really lost it in the first 10 minutes. We didn't come out ready to play," Rosemount coach Brad Stepan said. "We called a timeout and after that everybody got settled down. I?couldn't be more proud of the boys for not quitting.
Rosemount's continued hot hand from three-point range helped lead the Irish to their third win of the season Friday night against Bloomington Kennedy. The Irish, who made 33 long-range shots in a holiday tournament at St. Thomas, hit seven more in the 49-48 win over the Eagles. They shot 41 percent on threes, better than the 40 percent they shot on two-point attempts. There was little to separate the two teams during the game. Rosemount led 24-23 after the first half and the teams played to a 25-25 tie in the second.
The Rosemount boys swimming and diving team had two strong performances over the weekend, and head coach Tami Carlson has the numbers to prove it. Carlson calculated that her swimmers turned in season-best times in 43 percent of their events while setting four pool records in a 143-39 South Suburban Conference rout of Bloomington Kennedy Friday night at Oak Grove Junior High.
Outside shooting helped Rosemount overcome a couple of slow starts and a rebounding disadvantage to play three competitive games at last weekend's St. Thomas Tournament. The Irish knocked down 33 three-pointers during the three games in St. Paul, including 11 in a 59-50 first-round win over Providence Academy.
Rosemount's season-best performance on the balance beam accounted for most of its margin of victory in a 139.9-133 non-conference win over Farmington in a holiday break meeting Friday night in Rosemount. The Irish led by less than a point after the vault and the uneven bars before outscoring the Tigers 36-31.4 on the beam. Shannon McCoy led three Irish over 9.0 for the first time this season with a score of 9.6, Abby Nelson scored a 9.5 and Josey Schlie earned a 9.1. "That was the difference in the meet," Rosemount coach Jason Passeri said.
The Rosemount boys hockey team got its offense going last weekend at the Heritage Holiday Classic. Coming off a three-game losing streak where they scored a combined five goals, the Irish netted 13 goals in three games while placing third out of eight teams at Heritage Sports Center in Duluth. Lukas Gillett's hat trick paced the Irish in a 6-3 first-round win over St. Louis Park last Thursday afternoon. Gillett scored goals in all three periods, with the third pushing the lead to 5-3 at the 10:33 mark of the final period after St. Louis Park had closed within a goal.
Rosemount head coach Josh Hoekstra saw some good and some bad from his team at last week's Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic. The Irish played well in last Thursday's opener, but fell to the consolation bracket after 18th-ranked (Class 2A) Hastings scored in the final minute to sneak away with a 3-2 decision. The team returned to Schmitz-Maki Arena Friday afternoon and allowed four goals in a span of less than three minutes in a 6-1 loss to Shakopee. The Irish finally got in the win column with a 2-1 win over host Farmington in the seventh-place game Saturday morning.