Eden Prairie edges Rosemount for boys' lacrosse title

  • Article by: NATE GOTLIEB , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 17, 2014 - 10:56 PM

The Eagles repeated as champions despite having to play at Rosemount.

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Eden Prairie’s JD Spielmann, left, and Nick Leiverman celebrated the Eagles’ 13-11 victory over Rosemount in the boys’ lacrosse state championship game.

Photo: ELIZABETH FLORES • eflores@startribune.com,

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Two rainouts and unfamiliar turf didn’t stop Eden Prairie from winning its second consecutive boys’ lacrosse state title Tuesday.

The Eagles overcame their frustration at playing what was essentially a road game to defeat Rosemount 13-11. Weather cancellations twice forced the game to be rescheduled and eventually it was moved from a neutral site in Chanhassen to the grass field of top-seed Rosemount.

“We weren’t happy coming to their home facility and playing on their home turf,” Eden Prairie coach Ryan Ward said. “But at some point you just got to say, ‘You know, we can’t complain, what’s the point?’ The game’s going to happen one way or another whether we like it or not.”

Sean Patterson scored six goals and Nick Leiverman added two for the Eagles (17-2), who lost and then reclaimed the lead in a wild third quarter and then held it to the end. Matt Johnson and Trent Woodcock led Rosemount with three goals each, but the Irish (16-2) came up short in their attempt for a first state title.

“We just utilized our matchups,” Patterson said. “We played well offensively and everyone around just kind of bought in.”

Patterson recorded a hat trick in the first half, helping the Eagles to a 6-4 lead. Rosemount scored four consecutive goals in the third quarter to take a 10-8 lead, before Patterson and company delivered a late third-quarter charge.

It started with a goal from Cedric Clark, who scored with 52 seconds left. Patterson tied the score at 10 with seven seconds in the quarter, and Leiverman gave the Eagles an 11-10 lead with one second.

“We didn’t think they were going to score that fast,” Rosemount coach Lance Kuehn said.

Sophomore JD Spielmann added another Eden Prairie goal just 14 seconds into the fourth quarter on a well-executed pass from Patterson, who scored his sixth later in the quarter.

The Eagles held Rosemount’s Yepsen twins — all-state seniors Carter and Conner — to three goals, thanks in part to strong defense from senior Ronnie Spielmann, JD’s brother.

“I knew if they got to the inside they were dangerous,” Ronnie Spielmann said. “I did my best to keep them to the outside, just play hip to hip, just make sure they didn’t get around me.”

Ronnie Spielmann, who will play lacrosse at Ohio State next year, was competing in his final high school game with his brother. The younger Spielman also has committed to Ohio State and scored twice.

“It’s the best feeling in the world, especially knowing that I got to win a state championship with these guys and especially my younger brother,” Ronnie Spielmann said. “From the beginning, I’ve had a feeling that we were going to be a special team.”

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