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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After defeating Apple Valley three times during the regular season, the Rosemount girls hockey team fell to the Eagles 4-3 in the opening round of the Section 3AA tournament Wednesday night. The Irish finished with a record of 8-14-4.
Pucks started to find the net, but not quite often enough to put an end to Rosemount's losing streak. The Irish scored seven goals in two games last week, the most they've scored in back-to-back conference games this season, but their skid reached six games after a pair of one-goal road losses at Eastview and Bloomington Jefferson. A promising start gave way to a frustrating finish last Tuesday at Apple Valley Sports Arena when the Irish saw a 4-0 lead disappear in a 6-5 loss to the Lightning.
A couple of injuries and a close team score made it a stressful meet early on, but it was all good news in the end for the Rosemount gymnastics team Monday night. Lizzie Thooft hyperextended her knee and Rachel Schow had to be brought to the hospital after landing on her neck on a jump from the balance beam. The two missteps delayed the meet an hour, but both gymnasts came away without serious injury and the Irish used 1-2 finishes in the floor exercise and beam to pull away for a 136.25-133.875 conference win over Eagan. "It was a crazy meet," Rosemount coach Jason Passeri said.
A strong finish to the regular season earned the Rosemount girls hockey team the No. 6 seed and what appears to be a favorable match-up in the first round of the Section 3AA tournament. The Irish held on for a 3-2 road victory at rival Eastview last Tuesday and rallied to forge a 1-1 tie with Bloomington Jefferson Saturday in a regular season finale at Bloomington Ice Garden, giving them sole possession of sixth place out of 10 teams with a 5-8-4 record in the tightly-packed South Suburban Conference.
This year's senior class is certainly one worth celebrating. Jake Stern, Conor Manning, Braden McCormack, Matthew McCormack, Tyler Lawson, Luke Dowell, Nick Jeffrey, Jim Peterson and Alex Luing have helped the Rosemount swimming and diving program capture numerous school records and conference, section and state honors over the last four years. The group celebrated its Senior Night Friday by continuing its four-year run of perfection in the South Suburban Conference with a 96-82 victory over Eastview at Rosemount Middle School. "The seniors definitely went out on a good note.
Four wrestlers went undefeated as the Rosemount wrestling team improved to 18-4 with a sweep of the Blaine Duals Saturday. Steve Levine, Adam Jackson, Pat Massey and Sam Moeller all went 3-0, with their biggest wins helping the Irish edge seventh-ranked (Class 2A) Milaca, 27-26. Logan Mickie, Kouta Sugri and Payton Otterdahl also recorded wins in the dual, setting up Stefan Sauer to win the match with a 3-0 decision at heavyweight. Milaca won five of the first six matches and led 22-3 before Rosemount closed with seven wins in eight matches.
Sixth-ranked (Class 4A) Apple Valley knocked Rosemount below .500, but the Irish didn't stay there long. Coach Bryan Schnettler's team bounced back from an 81-58 loss to a talented Eagles team by surging to a 64-58 South Suburban Conference road win Friday night at Bloomington Jefferson. The Irish take a 9-9 record into this week's games against Prior Lake and Lakeville South. Rosemount led 27-22 at the break, then pulled ahead by as many as 15 points despite the 5-12 Jaguars knocking down seven three-pointers and shooting 52 percent from the field.
The Rosemount girls basketball team had trouble shaking out of the offensive funk that led to a season-low 24 points two weeks ago at Lakeville North. The Irish opened last week by shooting 29 percent from the field in a 61-46 road loss to an Apple Valley team they had previously beaten by eight points in late December.
The Rosemount gymnastics team posted its best team score of the season last Tuesday. But head coach Jason Passeri knows the Irish can go even higher. "We had two unexpected falls in the bars.... One fall on the beam that counted toward our score and two falls in the vault that counted," he said. "Put all that together and we could be a 140 (point) team. The girls have been improving throughout the season." Instead, the Irish finished with a score of 137.425 that was four-tenths of a point off the pace of Lakeville South's 137.825.
A pair of individual milestones highlighted another undefeated week for the Rosemount wrestling team. Seniors Adam Jackson and Steve Levine each won their 100th career matches, becoming the sixth and seventh wrestlers in program history to reach triple digits. Jackson, the state's second-ranked 152-pounder, reached the mark with a win during Friday night's 42-23 dual win over Wayzata. Back at Irish Gym Saturday morning, seventh-ranked Levine reached the century mark with a 3-0 day at 126 pounds at the Irish Duals.