Many of the players on Rosemount girls’ soccer team have already experienced plenty of big games in their high school careers.
In the past two seasons, the Irish qualified for the state tournament in 2019 and played in a section championship game last fall.
As it is still August, Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over Stillwater might not carry the same weight as a game in a section or state tournament bracket. However, with both teams heading into the week carrying top-three rankings in the Class 3A coaches’ preseason poll, it still was a notable early season test.
Looking at the Rosemount starting lineup, it is easy to see that a large class of juniors is helping provide a spark for an Irish team aiming to build on its recent success. Nine players in the team’s starting lineup Tuesday are 11th graders and many already have experience as varsity contributors.
It took more than 40 minutes to get on the scoreboard, but Ava Grate and Rosemount’s sustained attack outlasted Stillwater in its 3-1 victory, a matchup between two of the top-three ranked Class 3A teams in the coaches' preseason poll for girls’ soccer Tuesday in Rosemount.
Stillwater, No. 2-3A, led 1-0 after 40 minutes of play thanks to a 30-yard goal from Brooke Nelson that put the Ponies ahead in the first half.
But Rosemount, which led in shots throughout most of the game, broke through almost 15 minutes into the second half when Grate tipped a ball past Stillwater’s goalkeeper to make it a 1-1 tie. The junior found the back of the net again less than two minutes later, putting the Irish ahead for good.
Shay Payne added one more goal for the Irish with less than seven minutes remaining to extend the lead.
Rosemount, No. 3-3A, was helped by goalkeeper Jordan Hecht who made six saves. Stillwater goalkeeper Hadley Johnson made 14 saves in the loss.
MN Soccer Hub polls are for entertainment purposes only.