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 boys lacrosse team finally got a chance to catch its breath last weekend after forging through one of the toughest stretches of games any team in the state has faced this season. The Irish squared off against second-ranked Eastview, fourth-ranked Eagan, a 7-3 Apple Valley team and a 6-2 Lakeville North club over the first 11 days of May and came away with a record of 2-2.
Goals were being scored in bunches last week at Irish Stadium. The Rosemount girls lacrosse team scored a program-record 25 goals in a 25-24 nail-biter last Tuesday against former co-op partner Eagan, and then watched as visiting Lakeville North rang up 22 goals in a 22-11 loss under the lights on Thursday night. The Irish take a 7-4 record into their final two games of the regular season this week against Lakeville South and Bloomington Kennedy. The Irish trailed Eagan by six early in the second half and 23-20 with five minutes to play before rallying.
The True Team state champions will get the chance to defend their title. The Rosemount boys track team outscored runner-up Apple Valley 850-808 1/2 and ran away from the rest of the field as it captured its seventh Section 3AAA True Team championship in eight years last Wednesday at Apple Valley. "We're thrilled with the way the meet played out. Apple Valley and Prior Lake have both shown that they have very good teams and were going to take a shot it. Our team stepped up and competed like we've become accustomed to when championships are on the line," Rosemount coach Jay Hatleli said.
The Rosemount boys track team won the section 3AAA true team section meet last night by scoring 850 points to runner up Apple Valley's 808.5. It's the Irish's seventh section championship in the last eight years. The team will compete next Friday night at Stillwater High School against the seven other section winners across the state, plus plus wildcard team, for the state championship. Rosemount won true team state championships in 2011 and 2009, and was runner up in 2010. The Irish girls finished second in the True Team section.
The Rosemount boys track team scored 196 points to edge runner-up Prior Lake by four points and defend its title at the South Suburban Conference Relays last Tuesday in Prior Lake. The Irish finished first in four of the meet's 18 events and second in five others. "I felt like our team competed very well. Our experienced team leaders set a tone by the way they competed," Rosemount coach Jay Hatleli said. "We ended up being a little bit short-handed due to a few injuries, but some less experienced kids jumped in and did a nice job.
District 196 rivals Rosemount, Apple Valley and Eastview have proven to be an evenly-matched trio this season. Rosemount split a pair of contests with its South Suburban Conference neighbors last week, defeating Eastview 16-12 on Tuesday and falling 12-9 Thursday at Apple Valley.
The Rosemount softball team's total number of hits and errors were closer than the Irish would have liked over the last three games. The team saw its losing streak stretch to four games as it registered just 14 hits and piled up 11 defensive miscues in losses to Eastview, Roseville and Kennedy. In Monday's 6-3 loss to the Eagles at the Cove, the Irish had seven hits but five errors as they slipped to 4-9 overall. Kia Henk accounted for two of the team's hits.
Last week's two South Suburban Conference games reinforced for the Rosemount boys lacrosse team the importance of playing a full game. In last Tuesday's showdown with No. 1-ranked Eastview, the No. 6-ranked Irish got a bit too comfortable after establishing an early lead and allowed the undefeated Lightning to rally in the second half for an 8-7 victory under the lights at Irish Stadium. The team once again got out to a fast start Thursday in Apple Valley, but nearly saw another lead slip away.
After being swept in singles play by Lakeville North on Tuesday afternoon, the Rosemount boys tennis team used a singles sweep of its own to take a 6-1 South Suburban Conference match from Lakeville South Thursday in Rosemount. With state-ranked No. 1 singles player Andreas Dinkelmeyer still out due to injury, the rest of the singles lineup was forced to play up a spot. The transition period was difficult as the Irish lost seven of eight singles matches during losses to Red Wing and North early in the week, but players started to settle in against South.
The last couple of weeks have been the calm before the storm for the Rosemount boys lacrosse team. The Irish, ranked sixth in the state, have built up a four-game winning streak with games that ended up 18-9, 16-2, 17-4 and 13-8 since dropping a 13-12 thriller on the road at No. 2 Minnetonka three weeks ago. Head coach Lance Kuehn knows his team now has to switch gears as it takes on No. 3 Eastview, Apple Valley and No. 1 Eagan in an eight-day span that began Tuesday night at Irish Stadium.