The final week of the regular season brought out a rollercoaster of emotions for the Farmington girls soccer team.
Last Tuesday the Tigers embraced and cheered as they walked off their home field with a 1-0 victory over seventh-ranked (Class 1A) Holy Angels that assured the team of a share of its first-ever Missota Conference crown.
Two days later and about 40 degrees cooler, the Tigers left the field in no mood to share their title after surrendering their first two goals of the conference season in a 2-1 loss to the Sabers that head coach Rob Carpentier said was marred by some poor officiating.
"They had a collective feeling that the game was stolen from them.... The officiating was generally fine, but the instances where it wasn't and the events surrounding them were among some of the most egregiously unprofessional I have been around in my 20 years of coaching," said Carpentier, who was named Section 1AA Coach of the Year this week. "However, the girls cannot and won't be denied their just due. They know what they've accomplished.... I think the fact that we have a week between the Shakopee game and the first round of the playoffs will have the girls ready for the section game."
The Tigers (10-4-2) earned the No. 3 seed in Section 1AA and will host a first-round game for the first time ever tonight at 7 p.m. against No. 6 Rochester Mayo. The two teams finished in a 0-0 overtime tie in an earlier meeting this season Sept. 15 in Farmington.
While the Tigers lost despite thinking they were the better team on Thursday, Carpentier said the opposite was true in last Tuesday's contest. Holy Angels entered having won nine of its previous 10 games and had won three straight via shutout before one goaltending mistake cost the Stars the game.
Hannah Miller took a free kick from 25 yards out late in the first half and it slipped through the hands of the Holy Angels keeper and into the net for the eventual game-winner.
"She slightly miss-hit it, but it had spin. While the keeper got in front of the ball in plenty of time, it spun off her hands, through her legs and in the net," Carpentier said. "We were out-played for much of the match. However, our keeper and our defense showed why they are considered the best in the conference and among the best in the metro."
Keeper Ashley Becker and the Tiger defense combined to post their sixth straight Missota Conference shutout and ninth overall this season.
"(Holy Angels) had their chances earlier, but our girls tightened things up and led us to the win," Carpentier said. "They pressed hard in the last 15 minutes, but they never looked like they'd score."
The Tigers scored first at Shakopee when Alex Frost found the net on a feed from Izzie Ferm.
Shakopee tied the score just before halftime, and then converted on a penalty kick with 12 minutes to go. With the win, the Sabers pulled even with Farmington and Holy Angels at 6-1 in the league.
"We had our chances to tie, but to no avail," Carpentier said.