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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When it comes to weekend tournaments, the third time was the charm for the Rosemount volleyball team. After first-round losses led to consolation championships earlier this season at the Farmington and Cannon Falls Invitationals, the Irish broke through with a 4-0 day and a tournament championship Saturday at Nomeland Gym in Faribault. The Irish closed out the tournament with a 10-3 run that gave them a 15-8 victory in the third set of their championship match against Faribault.
There was no upset of top-seeded Prior Lake in the cards this time around. After advancing to the state tournament with a 4-3 win over the Lakers in last year's section finals, the Rosemount girls tennis team was handed a 7-0 sweep by the South Suburban Conference champions in last Thursday's showdown at Lifetime Fitness in Lakeville. "They definitely were the stronger team, especially indoors," Rosemount coach Dana Beck said. "We were very happy to make it to the finals and I am proud of the girls for their awesome season.
Every team but the state champion ends the season with a loss, but some of those teams come away from that loss feeling better about their season than others. That was likely the case for the Rosemount boys soccer team. The Irish's season came to an end with a 2-0 loss to fourth-ranked (Class 2A) Apple Valley last Thursday night.
Rosemount is going back to the True Team State Meet. A year after winning their first True Team section title, the Irish advanced as a wild card with a second-place finish at Saturday's Section 3AA True Team meet at the Rosemount Middle School pool. The Irish led through nine events, but East Ridge surged ahead over the final three to win the section title, 1,007-980. Rosemount opened the meet by winning the 200 medley relay as Claire Tolan, Olivia Johnston, Megan Wenman and Madeline Ryan combined to post a one-second margin of victory.
Playing from behind isn't easy, especially when you're a team that struggles to produce a lot of offense. The Rosemount girls soccer team allowed a goal to Apple Valley in the first 30 seconds of last Tuesday's Section 3AA tournament opener and never could draw the score back even as it was shut out for the eighth time this season in a 3-0 loss. "Apple Valley is tournament-tested and has a history of playing well in the sections. They came out with a purpose and intensity we couldn't match," Rosemount coach Kevin Adams said.
A wave of navy blue and gold flooded across the finish line near the front of the pack in the boys race at Friday's South Suburban Conference Championships. At that point, the official results were just a formality. Seven Rosemount runners had sprinted across the finish line among the top 25 finishers in the 88-runner field - including the last five in a 15-second span - giving the eighth-ranked (Class 2A) Irish their third straight conference title in convincing fashion, 51-92 over runner-up Burnsville in action outside Eagan High School. No.
Two teams heading in opposite directions crossed paths Friday night at Irish Stadium. Bloomington Jefferson entered riding a 14-game losing streak dating back to last season and the host Irish -- coming off back-to-back South Suburban Conference road wins -- were looking to win their third in a row. Both streaks continued as the Irish scored a pair of touchdowns in each of the first two quarters and built a 33-point lead in a 33-7 victory. Three rushers topped 50 yards as the Irish chewed up a season-high 239 yards on the ground.
Goals have been hard to come by for Rosemount during the South Suburban Conference season. The Irish wrapped up their league schedule by being shut out by a pair of ranked teams last week, first a 4-0 setback to fifth-ranked Burnsville last Tuesday and then at third-ranked Eastview last Thursday. The team finished ninth out of 10 teams in the final standings at 1-6-2 and was held scoreless in seven of those games. "We have struggled all season to put a full 80 minutes together and our offense has been down this season," Rosemount coach Kevin Adams said.
Strong finishes up front powered the Rosemount boys and girls cross country teams to a pair of second-place team finishes at last Thursday's Ev Berg Invitational at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna. Senior Trevor Capra and sophomore Sam Ivanecky placed 3-4 to lead the eighth-ranked (Class 2A) Irish to a team total of 68 points, 15 off the pace of seventh-ranked (Class 2A) Owatonna's 53 points.
If it were up to the Rosemount volleyball team, the entire season would be comprised of tournament consolation matches. The Irish won their second consolation championship in as many tournaments this season over the weekend, winning four straight matches Saturday to close out play at the 32-team Midwest Fall Classic Tournament at St. Michael-Albertville High School.