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Boys Soccer: Tigers shut out Pine Island

The Farmington boys soccer team found itself on both sides of a pair of shutouts last week.

The Tigers dropped their third straight game last Thursday, a 4-0 Missota Conference setback at home against Shakopee, but bounced back with a 2-0 shutout of Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa back at Tiger Stadium on Saturday.

Despite his team coming off a loss, first-year head coach Julian Buss said the Tigers were able to carry over some momentum Saturday from Thursday's second half, where they held the Sabers to one goal.

"I talked to the boys about playing a tough game comparable to their second half vs. Shakopee," he said. "The boys responded and outplayed Pine Island right from the start. We stepped to the ball and won more balls out of the air than I have seen all year."

The improved ball control allowed the Tigers to rack up 20 shots on goal. Two players deposited their first goals of the season, starting with senior midfielder Taylor Wood's shot into the upper left corner from 20 yards out with 15 minutes left in the first half. The assist went to Elijah Kierski.

The score stayed 1-0 until nine minutes into the second half when Brandon Scott, who finished with five shots on goal, got a pass from Mike Ricker and knocked it past the Pine Island goaltender from close range.

Farmington senior goaltender Derian Vietti went largely untested in picking up his second shutout of the season.

Three goals got past Vietti in the first half on Thursday as Shakopee took control in an eventual 4-0 league win.

Still, Buss said his team played some of its best soccer of the season over the last 40 minutes against a Sabers team with a record of 6-1.

"I think they are really making positive strides at learning the pace, style and aggressive level of play expected at the varsity level," he said.

The Tigers will continue their home stand with a pair of games this week against Holy Angels and Red Wing.