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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Competing in the same section as two of the top wrestling programs in the state -- and one of the best programs in the nation in Apple Valley -- has made it tough for Rosemount to advance its grapplers on to the state tournament the past few years. The Irish caught a break this year as second-ranked Hastings was moved to Section 1AAA.
The Rosemount boys hockey team spent the final week of the season on an emotional roller coaster. After ending a month-long losing streak with a 5-1 victory over Farmington in last Saturday's regular season finale, the Irish made it two in a row with their biggest victory of the season, a 4-3 win on the road at Woodbury in the opening round of the Section 3AA tournament. The Irish didn't have long to savor the victory, however, as third-ranked Eagan put an end to their season with a 12-0 rout last Thursday. The Irish (6-21) finished with six wins for the second year in a row.
Rosemount took the Section 3AA swimming and diving finals by storm Friday night in Prior Lake. The Irish qualified 15 individuals and relays for state in 10 events and set pool and section records in all three relays while pulling away for their fifth straight section title at Hidden Oaks Middle School. Their 424 1/2 points were 41 1/2 better than runner-up Lakeville North and 123 more than third-place Lakeville South.
Rosemount coach Jason Passeri wasn't surprised that some nervousness affected his gymnasts at last Saturday's Class 2A State Gymnastics Meet. Sophomore Kailey Askew and eighth-grader Abby Nelson both failed to match their section scores while competing for the first time at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion. "It's a different experience being at the state meet. Abby stayed on the beam, but she had some wobbles that she normally doesn't," Passeri said. "Kaylie, I've never seen her nervous but she was.... The girls didn't place as high as they want to, but they had fun.
The Rosemount boys hockey team advanced in the Section 3AA tournament with a 4-3 road win at Woodbury Tuesday night. The eighth-seeded Irish (6-20) advance to face Eagan, the state's third-ranked team in Class 2A, Thursday night in Eagan. The Wildcats won the two South Suburban Conference meetings with Rosemount, 10-2 and 9-1.
Rosemount put a scare into No. 1-ranked (Class 4A) Eastview Friday night. The Irish played their most efficient game of the season, turning the ball over a season-low seven times, in a 51-46 loss to the 21-1 Lightning in front of a big crowd at Irish Gym. "We played more focused and with more passion than we have all year long," Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said. "We missed some good looks in the second half.... We have four games left and we need to play with that effort and energy from now on.
There's no shame in losing a wrestling dual to Apple Valley. The Rosemount wrestling team was more than pleased to come away from Friday's Section 3AAA team tournament with the runner-up plaque after falling 65-2 to the Eagles, ranked first in the state, third nationally and wrestling in front of their home crowd at Apple Valley High School. The Irish defended their No. 2 seed, first defeating No. 7 Eagan 39-25, and then advancing to the section finals for the first time since 2003 with a 43-14 rout of No. 3-seeded Henry Sibley. "Our goal coming in was to go after second.
The Rosemount boys hockey team is hoping the success it experienced in last Saturday's regular season finale will carry over into the Section 3AA tournament. The Irish ended a month-long nine-game losing streak by downing Farmington 5-1 in a non-conference section tune-up at Rosemount Community Center. The victory improved the team to 5-20 overall after finishing a game out of last place in the South Suburban Conference with a record of 1-15. That record earned the Irish the No. 9 seed in Section 3AA and a first-round game at No. 8 Woodbury Tuesday night at Bielenberg Arena in Woodbury.
Losses to the top two teams in the South Suburban Conference -- and two of the top Class 4A teams in the state -- sent Rosemount to the bottom of the league standings last week. The Irish opened the week with a 92-43 setback at fifth-ranked Bloomington Kennedy last Tuesday. The schedule didn't get any easier, as less than 48 hours later the team took the court in Apple Valley and was dealt a 60-38 decision by seventh-ranked Eastview.
Rosemount added to its conference lead in goals allowed while stretching its losing streak to eight games last week. The Irish surrendered five second-period scores in an 8-2 loss to Prior Lake at the Dakotah Ice Center last Tuesday. A slow start proved too much to overcome back at Rosemount Community Center when Lakeville South surged ahead with three first-period goals and earned a 6-3 decision. The Irish have allowed 102 goals while scoring just 31 in 16 conference games. Three players scored goals for the Irish on Saturday.