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Boys lacrosse preview: Older, wiser Tigers eyeing wins

Farmington's Joey Todd passes the ball during Friday's lacrosse scrimmage against Apple Valley.

Farmington took some lumps during its first season of varsity lacrosse last spring.

The Tigers lost all 12 of their games and allowed 136 goals while scoring just 41.

But head coach Paul Sorensen believes that first season served as a learning experience that will help his team be more competitive this season.

"We learned to better rely on each other. I keep telling them it's not how you win that defines you, but how you respond to the losses and what we can do collectively to respond to that," Sorensen said. "This year you are already seeing some of that. We are also one year older and one year wiser and have instilled a sense of the word team from Day 1."

Day 1 came a lot sooner this season. Instead of beginning practice on March 28 as they did last season, the Tigers began getting together for captain's practices in January. The extra preparation seemed to help as the Tigers played Apple Valley to a tightly-contested 4-2 loss in a scrimmage last Friday at Tiger Stadium.

"We fought hard the entire scrimmage and defensively we played much better as a complete unit," Sorensen said. "We did some great things once we gained possession, but we still need to do a couple of things we will work on in practice this week to prepare for next Monday."

Sorensen went on to list several offensive skills his team needs to work on before Monday's home opener against Lakeville South. Goals were hard to come by last season, but there's reason for the Tigers to be optimistic they will put up bigger numbers this season as they return their top five scorers from a year ago.

Junior Trevor Howard heads up a list of 15 returning letter-winners after leading the team with 10 goals last season. Senior Quinn Malcolm (9 goals), junior Mitch Collier (5 goals, 5 assists), senior Justin Rees (4 goals, 4 assists) and junior Matt Ackerman (4 goals, 3 assists) are also back in the fold.

Other returning letter-winners include senior Tyler Tutewhol-Klotz, senior Blair Berg, senior Kyle Jensen, senior Jake Lee, goalkeeper Charlie Weierke, sophomore Matt Heinzerling-Weise, junior Alex Rojesky, junior Ian Eich and sophomores Jake Bauman and Joey Todd. Newcomers Luke Brevik, Jake Mendala, Carter Daigle and Nathan Brunelle are also competing for varsity time.

Watching these players compete against Apple Valley gave Sorensen confidence that -- with a few adjustments -- the Tigers can pick up their share of wins this season.

"We have some lofty goals this season and have developed some key team formulas for our success. If we positionally attain our goals we should see this thing turn right side up this year," he said. "Coming off the scrimmage with Apple Valley we feel athletically we are as gifted as any in our section, it's the mental aspect of the game that we are going to have to fine tune to be successful."