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 change in the scoring format worked in Rosemount's favor at the South Suburban Conference Relays last Tuesday. This year's meet awarded points for each team's top four finishers in each event, compared to awarding points to each of the top three in previous seasons. That played right into the hands of the Irish, who used their across-the-lineup depth to rack up 1,778 points, 120 more than host Prior Lake and nearly 500 more than third-place Burnsville. "We took advantage of that format change....
It looks like starting the season with losses to two of the top teams in the state didn't have much of an effect on the Rosemount lacrosse team. The Irish have since put together a three-game winning streak, with the latest triumph coming by a 12-8 score on the road Monday at Apple Valley. The Eagles led 6-4 at halftime, but the Irish rallied with eight goals in the third quarter to take a 12-7 lead into the fourth. "We've been playing in waves.
An inexperienced lineup, a challenging early-season schedule and weather that has made it difficult practice or hold meets have all factored into a slow start to the season for the Rosemount boys tennis team. The Irish fell to 0-4 in the South Suburban Conference and 0-5 overall with a 6-1 loss to Eagan Thursday afternoon.
Five untimely errors factored into all six of Lakeville South's runs in Rosemount's 6-1 loss to the Cougars Monday afternoon at The Cove. Before that, the Irish were errorless in the field in starting the season with back-to-back wins. In a 4-2 victory over Irondale Friday afternoon, they were flawless on the nine defensive plays left up to them as starter Gabby Sprang struck out 12 in a no-hitter. Melissa Seldon ripped an RBI triple and scored on a passed ball to give the Irish an early 2-0 lead.
Rosemount took the early lead with a victory in the 4x800 relay and ran away with the team title at the 40th-annual Jim Sauer Invitational Friday afternoon at Irish Stadium. Alex Berhe, Cody Sedbrook, Michael Sampers and Zaffer Hussein teamed up for the first-place finish, which was one of seven for the Irish. They outscored runner-up Woodbury 216-148 and North St. Paul finished third in the eight-team field with 122 1/2 points. Payton Otterdahl was a double winner in the field events.
Games against two of the top five teams in the state made for a difficult first week for the Rosemount boys lacrosse team. The Irish played well in their opener against third-ranked (Class 2A) Eagan last Thursday night in West St. Paul, but came up short in a 17-13 loss to the conference and section rival Wildcats. Two days later, the team traveled to Blaine and got handed a 16-4 pounding by a Bengals team that then vaulted to fourth in state rankings. "It was a tough start. Both Eagan and Blaine are very good teams with developed programs.
Rosemount won just four games in the South Suburban Conference last spring. But two strong pitching performances have the Irish halfway to that total just four games into their 17-game league slate. Jake Schulze fired a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory over Burnsville in the first game of a doubleheader Friday afternoon and Ben Smith held visiting Lakeville South to two earned runs over seven innings in his first varsity start, a 4-3 Irish win on Monday. "I've been really excited about our pitching and our defense hasn't been too bad," Rosemount coach Chris Swansson said.
Another round of snow forced the Rosemount boys track team to take a long road trip to St. John's University in Collegeville for its dual meet with Wayzata Friday afternoon. The Trojans came out on top 53-51 on the 200-meter indoor track in the Donald McNeely Spectrum Fieldhouse. "We wouldn't normally drive up to St. John's in April, but given the spring we needed a competitive environment and we found it with a strong Wayzata team," Rosemount coach Jay Hatleli said.
Sairam Sunkam's victory at No. 4 singles kept Rosemount from being swept by a state-ranked Bloomington Jefferson team last Tuesday. Sunkam won 6-1, 6-3, but the Irish ended up dropping a 6-1 decision in their first outdoor South Suburban Conference match of the year in Bloomington. "This is a very tough team, ranked top 10 in the state, and they have great depth all the way through the lineup," Rosemount coach Dana Beck said.
The snow melted and the sun came out just long enough to get the Irish Girls Invitational track meet completed last Tuesday night at Irish Stadium. Prior Lake won the meet with 165 1/2 points, followed by Eagan with 102 and third-place Rosemount with 66 1/2 points. Farmington was a close fourth with 58 1/2 points, ahead of teams from Rochester Century, Eastview and Northfield. Two straight days with temperatures in the mid-40s were just enough to clear the track, which was covered up by six more inches of snow just two days later. "We were thrilled to get the meet in.