Boys' lacrosse player of the year: Rosemount's Conner Yepsen

  • Article by: LOREN NELSON , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 9, 2014 - 8:41 PM

Rosemount’s Conner Yepsen lets his play do the talking, and his teammates have followed his lead.

Conner Yepsen adds a hard-nosed defensive approach to his goal-scoring prowess — he has a team-high 47 this year — for state tournament qualifier Rosemount.

Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Captain’s practices were over. Tryouts were done. The Rosemount boys’ lacrosse team had assembled for its first morning practice of the season.

Conner Yepsen had something to say to the group. This was unusual, because Yepsen typically doesn’t do a lot of talking. Long speeches don’t fit Yepsen’s understated, task-oriented personality. He’s better suited to be a drill sergeant than a politician or professor.

“Trent [Woodcock] is the guy who has the big motivational speeches,” Irish coach Lance Kuehn said about the senior midfielder. “But when Conner says something, he means what he says.”

Even on this day, a cold and blustery April 2, Yepsen didn’t go overboard delivering his message.

“He told the guys, ‘This is our year,’ ” Kuehn said. “We had won the [South Suburban] conference, and we had made it deep in the playoffs, and he said, ‘This is a better team than last season, and this is our year.’ ”

Since that first practice, Yepsen has worked tirelessly to ensure the Irish’s singular focus has been on reaching the state tournament. Always a premier scorer who could make defenders look helpless with his eye-blurring quickness and ability to shoot while running at top speed, Yepsen rounded out his game by becoming a reliable faceoff man and hard-nosed defender. Throw in his burgeoning leadership skills, and that makes for a complete package and led to him being selected as the Star Tribune boys’ lacrosse Metro Player of the Year.

Yepsen and his twin brother, Carter, lead a top-ranked Irish (14-1) team that avenged its lone regular season loss by defeating Prior Lake 11-10 in the Section 3 championship game on Thursday. That victory ended years of playoff frustrations for the Irish and secured their first state tournament appearance in program history.

“Through the five years I’ve been playing on the team, I think this is the best, most well-rounded team we’ve had,” said Conner, who has scored a team-high 47 goals to go with 22 assists and will play at Division I Robert Morris University next year with his brother. “Everyone has got a target on us since we’re No. 1. They’re all coming to get us.”

That bull’s-eye has been especially big on Conner, who routinely attracts double and triple teams and, in some cases, having a defender shadow his every move. He welcomes that sort of attention.

“Like tonight, when they are looking to lock me out [Carter] gets opened up,” Conner said after the Irish beat Prior Lake on a goal with 13 seconds left by Carter. “It’s nice to rely on someone and not always have the target mainly on you.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Gophers head coach?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close