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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Some positives emerged for the Rosemount boys basketball team during the second halves of losses to a pair of quality opponents last week. The Irish showed improvement on the offensive end as they played point-for-point with Cretin-Derham Hall (72-55) and Woodbury (83-61) after falling behind by double figures early on in both contests. "We played two good teams and we are learning what it takes to play at that level. Our goal is to be able to compete with and beat teams like that in March," Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said.
Rosemount needed just eight events to clinch a victory over Burnsville in Friday's South Suburban Conference meet at Burnsville High School. The Irish finished 1-2-3 in four straight events and built an 89-35 lead in an eventual 89-73 triumph over the Blaze. Burnsville led after one event, but Rosemount moved back ahead thanks to a first-place finish by Andrew Urness in the 200 freestyle.
Rosemount came away with a third-place finish out of 10 teams at a balanced Kenyon-Wanamingo Dave Mauseth Invitational Saturday. The Irish scored 156 points, 16 off the pace of runner-up Cannon Falls/Randolph and 23 ½ behind team champion Kenyon-Wanamingo. They weren't able to defend their team championship, but they did crown two individual champions - seniors Dan Rosa and Sam Moeller. "We've done well at this meet in the past and we thought we'd do well again. Third was a good finish," Rosemount coach Brett Larson said.
It was an up-and-down three-game home stand for the Rosemount girls basketball team last week. In a span of five days, the Irish lost to Shakopee in a game that came down to the final seconds, defeated Bloomington Jefferson in their South Suburban Conference opener and hung with ninth-ranked Park of Cottage Grove, all without leaving town. "It was a busy week, to say the least," Rosemount coach Chris Orr said. "The girls competed hard in all three games and huge progress has been seen since the beginning of the year.
The Rosemount wrestling team didn't waste any time testing itself against some of the best competition in the state. The Irish opened the regular season last Thursday by hosting a triangular where they lost 52-15 to No. 1-ranked Apple Valley and 40-27 to a Lakeville North team that appears in The Guillotine's Lean and Mean list of state contenders. They got on the bus a day later and traveled to Cambridge where they fell 49-18 to a Cambridge-Isanti squad ranked third in the state.
Rosemount fell behind by 10 points early in the first half before rallying for a 55-51 road win last Thursday against Farmington at Tiger Gym. After the slow start, the Irish got more aggressive on offense (season-high 20 of 32 from the free-throw line) while also committing a season-low 10 turnovers. Kaylie Hanson's free throws with 2.7 seconds left clinched the team's second win in four tries this season. "A huge part of winning is learning how to win, especially when you don't play your best, and we did that against Farmington.
Ten of the 12 players who stepped on the Irish Gym court for Rosemount in its season opener against Shakopee were getting their first varsity action. So when it got down to crunch time, the Irish looked to their two experienced players. Cole Northwick and Garrett Goetz each hit big shots down the stretch and Goetz provided the buzzer-beater that lifted the Irish to a 57-55 victory last Tuesday. Goetz hit 10 of 14 shots from the floor, connected on all five of his free throws and canned a pair of three-pointers en route to a career-high 27 points.
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.