Minnesota State Tournament Preview

Rosemount senior Connor Yepsen

At the beginning of the 2014 season, 67 Minnesota teams set out on a quest for one goal: to reach the state tournament and play for a championship. After section playoffs those 67 teams are now down to eight, which have advanced into the tourney scheduled for June 10-14. Games will be played at Chaska and Chanhassen High Schools.

Top-seeded Rosemount have to be considered the favorite after a hard-fought sectional battle with second-ranked Prior Lake. The Irish are led by the Yepsen twins, Carter and Connor, who will both attend Robert Morris University in the fall.

Second-seed Eden Prairie are the defending state champions and boast a pair of Division 1 players of their own: Charlie Venable (Holy Cross) and Ronnie Spielman (Ohio State). The lone undefeated team in the state, Champlin Park were a perfect 15-0 and are seeded third , followed by Blake and Lakeville North.

Section Winners

  1. Lakeville North (13-3) – Panthers defeated Rochester John Marshall, Rochester Century and crosstown-rival Lakeville South to advance. Ranked #7 in the final MSHSL poll.
  2. Eden Prairie (14-2) – The Eagles cruised to a section title defeating Chaska (18-0), Chanhassen (15-8) and Edina (14-9). Ranked #3 in last poll.
  3. Rosemount (14-1) – It wasn’t an easy road for the top-ranked Irish, who faced Eastview in the semifinal before #2-ranked Prior Lake in the championship.
  4. Mahtomedi (9-6) – A surprise section champion, the Zephyrs eliminated Hill-Murray and Stillwater before their upset over top-seed East Ridge.
  5. White Bear Lake (14-1) – A ‘quiet’ one-loss team, the Bears were ranked #11. Only loss was to Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Defeated Irondale, Totino-Grace and Mounds View in section play.
  6. Blake (13-3) – The Bears could be a troublesome opponent. After losing their two opening games Blake is 13-1, their only setback was a 4-3 loss against Eden Prairie.
  7. Champlin Park (15-0) – the other ‘quiet’ team this season. The lone undefeated team in the state, strength of schedule had the Rebels ranked #3 in the final poll.
  8. Wayzata (12-4) – Trojans lost four one-goal games this season, three of those against state tournament teams (Eden Prairie, Lakeville North, Champlin Park).

2014 Minnesota State Tournament Quarterfinals

  • Rosemount vs Mahtomedi
  • Eden Prairie vs White Bear Lake
  • Champlin Park vs Wayzata
  • Blake vs Lakeville North

College Committed State Tournament Players

NCAA Division I

  • Thomas Blease, Blake – Hobart College
  • Ronnie Spielman, Eden Prairie – Ohio State University
  • Charlie Venable, Eden Prairie – College of the Holy Cross
  • Carter Yepsen, Rosemount – Robert Morris University
  • Connor Yepsen, Rosemount – Robert Morris University

NCAA Division II

  • Luke Dalman, Champlin Park – University of Mount Olive
  • Matt Johnson, Rosemount – Wingate University

NCAA Division III

  • Grant Oie, Blake – Beloit College