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Boys soccer: Penalty kick lifts South past Tigers, 1-0

Lakeville South's only second-half shot on goal came on a confusing penalty kick that allowed the Cougars to escape with a 1-0 home win over Farmington Thursday afternoon.

With the score tied at 0-0 early in the second half, a Lakeville South player fell down in front of the goal and was awarded a penalty kick. According to Farmington coach Julian Buss, the officials couldn't identify who the penalty was on, then gave the Cougars a penalty kick without goaltender Chad Stivers in the goal. After the first kick, the officials realized their mistake and awarded another kick, which slipped past Stivers' reach and into the net for the go-ahead goal.

"The official never indicated to myself or any member of my team who the penalty was on," Buss said. "A Lakeville South player went down in the box so a push was called. I asked ... who the penalty was on and nobody had any idea."

The Farmington offense was never able to tie the score back up over the final 34 minutes. The Tigers, who have now lost three games in a row, have scored just two goals in four games since blowing out Chanhassen, 7-1, on Sept. 20.

"We put together more dangerous scoring plays than Lakeville South did, but we were unlucky," Buss said. "We hit the post on two shots. Our shots were slightly off, or if they were on they didn't have enough behind them."

It was the second straight shutout for the Tigers as they were blanked 6-0 by Missota Conference-leading Holy Angels last Tuesday in Richfield.

The Stars improved to 7-1-3 with their fifth straight victory. They led 2-0 at the break, then doubled their advantage with two more scores over the first eight minutes of the second half.

Buss said a matchup mistake accounted for part of Holy Angels' big night on the offensive end. The Stars ran a three-forward set against Farmington's three defenders, leaving no extra man to help against the home team's talented scorers.

"You need to have at least one more defender than they have attackers free to move to the most dangerous scoring situations," Buss said. "We were too slow during the first half in making this adjustment and in understanding how our other marks should be handled."

Stivers finished with eight saves.

With a pair of wins this week, the Tigers can still finish second behind Holy Angels in the final conference standings. They stood at 3-1-1 in the league heading into Tuesday's game at Chaska. The regular season concludes with tonight's 5 p.m. home date with last-place New Prague at Tiger Stadium.

"We will look to finish strong and keep this loss the only glitch in an otherwise strong Missota Conference showing," Buss said.