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

St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 3
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 12 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 4
Washington - LP: D. Fister 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 8
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1
Boston - LP: T. Layne 2 FINAL
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 5
NY Yankees - WP: S. Greene 8 FINAL
Detroit - LP: D. Price 4
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: Z. Wheeler 2
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: M. Latos 7
Cleveland 2 Top 9th Inning
Chicago WSox 3
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 6
Oakland 2 Bottom 8th Inning
Houston 3
Milwaukee 0 Top 7th Inning
San Diego 0
Los Angeles 3 Bottom 5th Inning
Arizona 1
Miami 1 Bottom 4th Inning
LA Angels 3
Colorado 0 Top 4th Inning
San Francisco 0
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
D.C. 0 1st Half 10:00
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close