*Zane Douglas contributed to this story*
The Rosemount Irish boys' lacrosse team fell to South Suburban Conference rival Prior Lake in the Section 6A championship game for the second year in a row Thursday, June 6, in the Prior Lake. The Irish held a one-goal lead in the fourth quarter over the Lakers, but Prior Lake scored tied the game to send it to overtime and went on to win 4-3. The Lakers went on to win the state championship on Saturday, June 15, over Benilde-St. Margaret's 5-3.
Rosemount was the No. 2 seed in Section 6A and routed No. 7 Minneapolis 12-1 on May 31 as the game was called in the final minute due to lightning. In the semifinals on June 5, they traveled to Edina to face the No. 3 Hornets and came from behind to win 8-7. They had previous beaten the Hornets 13-8 to end the regular season.
The Irish battled injuries and attrition for much of the season but bounced back just in time for sections. They finished with an overall record of 10-6 after going 8-5 in the regular season and 5-4 in the SSC.
Looking ahead to next season, Rosemount graduated an astounding 13 seniors this spring-Tyler Olson, Evan Geiwitz, Thomas Purfeerst, Luke Majewski, Thomas Gallagher, Wesley Dean, Noah Berg, Samuel Johnson, Jack Moran, Austin Lentz, Bennett Magnuson, Noah Fandrick and Evan Lilga.Those 13 include the team's top eight points earners, top six goal scorers and all but three of their assists on the season. Purfeerst and Majewski are both headed to Lewis University where they will play Division II lacrosse for the Flyers.
However, the Irish also bring back 11 players who were on varsity this past spring, including contributors in eighth grader Matthew Dabrowski, junior goalie Landon Merigold and fellow juniors Cadin Rudoll and Noah Smith.
So close against the Lakers
Rosemount got out to an early lead with a goal from Magnuson which was assisted by Berg. Magnuson found himself with the ball with a flurry of defenders approaching, but he saw a lane and muscled his way near the goal and ripped it past Prior Lake's goalkeeper with 6 minutes, 53 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Prior Lake answered in the same quarter with only 48.8 seconds left to tie the game.
In the second quarter it was all Prior Lake as the Lakers took the lead. Later, with under 10 seconds remaining in the half, Prior Lake tried to extend their lead but had a goal waved off.
After the half, the Irish came back in full force with two unanswered goals to take the lead. Berg got the first in a similar fashion to Magnuson. He ducked through defenders and shot it to the back of the net with 6:39 to go in the third quarter. A couple minutes later, Purfeerst gave the Irish the lead. Olson found himself on a breakaway for Rosemount and found Purfeerst near the crease on the goalkeeper's right side.
In the fourth quarter, Prior Lake struck quickly to tie the game with 8:21 seconds remaining. The rest of the quarter saw quite a few attacks, but nothing went through for either team. The section final game would head to overtime.
Overtime wouldn't take long. The Lakers controlled the ball the whole way and scored to win 4-3.