Soccer: 'Wonderful and frustrating' season ends in defeat
A memorable season ended abruptly for the Farmington girls soccer team.
After a regular season where they finished with a program-best nine wins against five losses and two ties, the Tigers fell 4-0 to Eastview in the first round of the Section 3AA tournament last Tuesday in Apple Valley. First-year coach Rob Carpentier said his team's lack of big-game experience was evident going up against a Lightning team that made it to the state tournament last fall.
"It was almost as if we were scared collectively to make a mistake. That's a big difference between a team with tradition and a team that doesn't have it," he said. "We tried to execute the game plan and they are fast and talented all over the field. Where we didn't do a great job is that we weren't aggressive enough. We were playing reactively instead of instinctively."
Still, the game stayed 0-0 until second-seeded Eastview scored on a corner kick just before half. Carpentier said he made some changes after the break to try to spark his team's offense, but that allowed the Lightning to put three more goals past Taylor Meyer. Meyer finished with 13 saves, but the Lightning posted a 17-7 advantage in shots on goal.
"The second half was more a mistake on my part than anything," Carpentier said. "I changed formation a bit to try and give us more offensive chances and they punished us for it. That was my fault."
The loss ended the careers of eight seniors: defensive players Emily Hanson, Heather McClain, Kayla Seivert and Cassie Solis; forwards Ariel Hageman and Katrina Waltz; and goalkeepers Kristyn Deidrich and Kayla Hinrichson. The group helped the Tigers finish 9-5-2 overall and fifth in the Missota Conference with a 2-3-1 record. Season highlights were a pair of ties with league champion Prior Lake and non-conference wins at Owatonna and at Lakeville South.
"I think the first year was wonderful in some aspects and frustrating in others. The frustrating thing for all of us was that we were and are good enough to have run through our schedule, win the conference and do well in the section," Carpentier said. "We didn't accomplish any of those goals. However, the mentality that it takes to do that takes time to build and you could see that developing over the course of the season, where the girls went from hoping to do good things, to knowing they could do good things to knowing they would do good things."