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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A regression from last year's third-place finish was inevitable for a mostly-inexperienced Rosemount boys cross country team going up against many of the top teams from around the Midwest at Saturday's Roy Griak Invitational. The eighth-ranked (Class 2A) Irish fell a bit further back in the pack than they would have liked, but still cracked the top half of the 44-team field at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights with a 21st-place total of 565 team points. No.
Brandon Ekeren's 31-yard field goal with 17 seconds left lifted the Rosemount football team to a 17-16 victory on the road Friday night at Eagan. The Irish trailed by nine points before Ali Al-Khatib scored a five-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.
Rosemount boys soccer coach Mike Floersch couldn't be more pleased with the progress his team has made this season. Coming off a 3-11-2 season where it won just one South Suburban Conference game, the Irish improved to 7-5 last week as they reeled off back-to-back league wins and played Edina competitively in a 2-1 loss. "We are really starting to play well. As a coach, you want your team to improve as the season goes on and I think these boys are surprising even themselves as to how good they could be," Floersch said.
The Rosemount volleyball team rebounded from a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Lakeville South last Tuesday by sweeping Bloomington Kennedy 25-20, 25-18, 25-18 last Thursday in Bloomington. Despite missing Meghan Schuster and Haley Zweber due to injuries, the Irish surpassed their season-long goal with a side-out rate of over 61 percent as they evened their record at 6-6. "This takes solid passing, smart setting and patient hitting," Rosemount coach Smokey Vitek said. "We played solid all the way around, as well as consistent." Brittany McLean led a balanced offensive attack with nine kills.
The Rosemount girls tennis team lost to conference champion Prior Lake last regular season before exacting some revenge and upsetting the Lakers in the section tournament finals. The Irish were left hoping for another opportunity for revenge after falling to the undefeated Prior Lake last Tuesday in Rosemount. The Lakers swept doubles play as they handed Rosemount its second league loss and all but locked up another South Suburban title. Virginia Norder held on to win a tough first set and picked up the team's lone win at No. 1 singles, 7-6, 6-1.
Rosemount girls soccer coach Kevin Adams figures he saw his team both at its best and at its worst in a span of two days last week. The Irish played what Adams called "their most complete 80-minute game of the season" in front of a big Community Night crowd last Tuesday night and eked out a 2-1 win over Lakeville South at Irish Stadium. Two nights later, the team traveled to Bloomington and lost by the same score to a 4-7 Kennedy team that had lost its previous three games by a combined score of 22-0. "We followed that emotional game with our poorest effort of the season.
Prior Lake came away with points on three long scoring drives and stopped Rosemount from scoring on two of its trips to the red zone as it spoiled the Irish's Homecoming with a 17-7 South Suburban Conference win Friday night at Irish Stadium. The Irish (1-3) matched their season-low point total, but showed some signs of progress on the offensive side of the ball.
Saturday's Eagle Invitational provided some talented competition for the Rosemount girls cross country team. Going up against five of the top 10 ranked teams in the state, the Irish placed 13th out of 20 teams with 311 points in Apple Valley. Eagan topped Edina 75-117 for the team title. Chanhassen, Eden Prairie and Lakeville South rounded out the top five. "Overall, as a team we competed better than we did at the Applejack meet last week," Rosemount coach Chris Harder said.
Prior Lake scored a touchdown with 29 seconds left in the second quarter to take the lead and added another score on its first drive of the second half en route to a 17-7 South Suburban Conference win Friday night at Irish Stadium. The Irish (1-3) fell behind on an early field goal, but came back to take the lead thanks to a 14-play, 92-yard drive that took up over half of the second quarter. Senior running back Ali Al-Khatib scored the touchdown from five yards out.
The South Suburban Conference continued to be unkind to the Rosemount boys soccer team last week. Thursday's 3-0 loss at Eagan dropped the Irish to 0-4 in the league. They have scored three total goals in those four losses, compared to 11 goals in their five non-league wins. The offense got going in the second half last Tuesday at Bloomington Jefferson, scoring two goals.