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 cross country team executed its race strategy to perfection Friday afternoon at the Applejack Invitational. The seventh-ranked Irish ran comfortably with the rest of the pack for the first half of the race before making their move on the second half of the 5,000-meter course at Aronson Park in Lakeville.
Most of the columns on the stat sheet favored Bloomington Kennedy Friday night, but the only one that mattered went Rosemount's way. The Irish were outgained by over 100 yards, ran about half as many plays and had the ball nearly half as much, but a couple of big plays in the second half sparked them to a 21-14 South Suburban Conference victory over the Eagles at Irish Stadium. Rosemount got the ball to start the second half in a 7-7 game and drove to the Kennedy 26-yard line before running back Ali Al-Khatib ran it in for the go-ahead touchdown.
Any break from its tough South Suburban Conference schedule is a welcome sight for the Rosemount boys soccer team. The Irish, after losing a pair of one-goal games to conference foes Lakeville North and Prior Lake last week, regained some confidence with a 3-0 shutout of Hastings Saturday at Irish Stadium. The victory improved coach Mike Floersch's team to 5-0 with four shutouts in non-conference games this season. Kohl Sparrman supplied two of the goals and Biruk Tefera scored once.
Two undefeated teams ranked in the top five in the state made for a difficult first week of the South Suburban Conference season for the Rosemount girls soccer team. The Irish were shut out for the third straight time last Tuesday when No. 1-ranked (Class 2A) Lakeville North used a pair of second-half goals to pull away for a 2-0 victory at Irish Stadium.
Rosemount volleyball coach Smokey Vitek wants her young team to be aggressive offensively, while also being patient and consistent. The Irish continued to struggle finding the right balance between the two while losing a pair of 3-1 non-conference matches last week. The team had 50 or more unforced errors, according to Vitek, in last Tuesday's home loss to New Prague and plenty more against Roseville back at Irish Gym on Thursday. "All the sets were within two or three points and we gave away too many points, which impacted our ability to win sets (against New Prague)," Vitek said.
Chanhassen used a sweep of four doubles matches to score a 6-2 win over Rosemount and win the four-team Irish Invitational Tournament Saturday afternoon. The Storm scored 19 points while going 3-0. They defeated Cannon Falls 7-1 and Shakopee 6-2. Rosemount defeated Cannon Falls 8-0 and Shakopee 7-1 en route to scoring 17 points. Rosemount No. 2 singles player Ally Baker was the only member of the team to make it through the tournament undefeated, going 3-0 to win an individual medal. She defeated Shakopee's No.
It took just eight events for the Rosemount girls swimming and diving team to put its season-opening meet into exhibition scoring last Thursday night. The Irish won the first eight events of the meet - and placed second in seven of them - as they built a commanding 98-28 lead in an eventual 98-78 South Suburban Conference dual win over Apple Valley at Valley Middle School. "Rosemount had a great start to the swim season. We are four weeks in to the season and the girls have been working extremely hard," Rosemount coach Tami Carlson said.
The defending state champion Eden Prairie Eagles took advantage of six Rosemount turnovers to score a 34-7 win over the Irish Friday night at Irish Stadium. The Irish made it 14-7 late in the first quarter when Dimitri Williams hauled in a 31-yard catch and run from quarterback Sean Kalinowski on fourth and seven.
After the Rosemount volleyball team attended the Southwest Minnesota State team camp in July, head coach Smokey Vitek talked about 2012 being a potential breakthrough season for an Irish program that has hovered within a couple games of the .500 mark for most of the last four seasons. If the first two matches of the season are any indication, Vitek may be onto something.
It didn't take long for the Rosemount boys soccer team to surpass last season's victory total. The Irish carried their hot start into last week as they stretched their winning streak to four games with back-to-back shutouts on the road at Shakopee and Rochester Century. Last Thursday's 3-0 shutout of Century was the fourth win in eight days for a team that was 3-11-2 a year ago. "It has been a great start to the season, no doubt. I knew the boys soccer program was getting stronger, but I did not expect the scoring to be so good so quickly," Rosemount coach Mike Floersch said.