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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The Rosemount High School athletic department announced Tuesday the hiring of Brad Stepan as the new head boys hockey coach. Stepan has an extensive background in hockey. He was drafted as a junior out of Hastings and went on to play in the Ontario Hockey League and for Herb Brooks on the 1986 Junior Olympic team. He then played in the New York Rangers' system. Stepan worked on the coaching staffs at Hastings and Henry Sibley High School and served as a scout for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Rosemount came up just short in a battle between two of the top lacrosse teams in the state Saturday in Minnetonka. The second-ranked Skippers surged to a 9-3 halftime lead, then had to hold on as the fifth-rated Irish fought all the way back to within a goal before falling, 13-12. "We weren't united and we came out flat-footed and made selfish plays in the first half," Rosemount coach Lance Kuehn said. "In the second half we changed our personnel, played as a team and got ourselves back into the game.
The Rosemount girls track team won just one event, but Irish athletes were sprinkled among the place-winners at last Thursday's Prior Lake Invitational. The host Lakers pulled away from the rest of the six-team field with 231 1/3 points, but the Irish hung with the rest of the pack, scoring a third-place total of 108 5/6 points. "The coaching staff was pleased with the performances. Many athletes improved from their performances from last week at Eastview," Rosemount coach Sara Hatleli said. "There were also athletes who tried new events and their performances were very encouraging.
One bad pitch turned Rosemount's fortunes last Thursday against Prior Lake. Relief pitcher Mitch Olson left a pitch up to the first batter he faced in the top of the seventh inning and the result was a two-run home run that lifted the Lakers to a 6-5 South Suburban Conference road win. Starter Nick Seipel had just left the game with a high pitch count after holding the Lakers to four runs (two earned) over the first 6 1/3 innings.
The Rosemount boys golf team started the season with a busy slate of meets last week, competing three times in a span of four days. The young Irish opened by shooting a team score of 352 at the Park of Cottage Grove Invitational last Tuesday. They fell 15 1/2 to 8 1/2 in the first part of a home-and-home match play competition with Farmington at Fountain Valley Golf Course last Wednesday, and then closed out the week on a high note by placing fifth out of 16 teams with a round of 330 at the Shattuck St.
Rosemount's inexperienced pitching duo of Nichole Johnson and Melissa Seldon made some adjustments after allowing 12 runs on 20 hits in last Monday's season-opening loss to Eastview. The same pitchers teamed up to hold Kennedy to a single run on six hits as the Irish evened their record with a 6-1 South Suburban Conference win last Wednesday in Bloomington. "Both pitchers just had very little experience going in. Nichole had zero varsity innings and Seldon had 22. Eastview had good hitters, but I just think they realized you can't be on the plate at all," Rosemount coach Tiffany Rose said.
They're no longer the Wild Irish, but they had a wild first week of the season. The Rosemount girls lacrosse team started their first solo season after several years as a co-op with Eagan by rallying for a pair of tightly-contested victories last week.
Rosemount boys tennis coach Dana Beck has high expectations for her team this season, and its performance during a busy first week did nothing to lower them. The Irish opened the season with a 7-0 sweep of South Suburban Conference rival Bloomington Kennedy last Tuesday, and then improved to 2-0 with a 6-1 victory over Burnsville Thursday. The team capped off the week with a third-place finish at the eight-team Royal-Raptor Invitational in Woodbury. "The first week of play showed great promise for the upcoming season," Beck said.
Senior Chandler Dye was part of both of Rosemount's first-place finishes during a second-place team showing at last Tuesday's Prior Lake Invitational. The Irish scored 96 points, well off the pace of meet champion Blaine's 143 points. Prior Lake (84), Burnsville (80) and Roseville Area (58) also competed. "I think we continued to get some good experience. We're still in the mode of trying to figure out who will round out our varsity spots in several events," Rosemount coach Jay Hatleli said.
The Rosemount girls lacrosse team prepared for its inaugural season as an independent program by competing in a pair of scrimmages last week. The Irish took on Minnehaha Academy last Wednesday, then squared off against Hastings Friday at Irish Stadium. The team showed some signs of improvement over the two days, according to head coach Jeff Smith. "I was pleased with how we looked better than the previous scrimmage,"he said.