Boys Lacrosse: Brimming with confidence
Confidence is not usually a characteristic associated with a team that has lost 24 of its last 25 games.
But for the Farmington lacrosse team, there's no shortage of confidence heading into the upcoming season. After taking their lumps in their first two seasons as a varsity program, the now-experienced Tigers look poised to make big strides in their level of play and put a few more games in the win column. Eleven freshmen and sophomores are back after starting a year ago and a group of seven seniors is providing on-field leadership.
"They now have sectionals, summer and winter league, against this type of competition and know what to expect. The biggest thing is they know they can play with anybody and our confidence is soaring," Farmington coach Paul Sorensen said. "Work ethic is something that is not foreign to this group and that will go miles in helping us achieve our goals."
Sorensen said he expects all that in-game experience to give his team a better grasp of the cerebral part of the game.
"Just knowing where to be on a given play, and what to do in a fast paced situation. The skill is there and now they are applying their knowledge of the game and combining that with their overall game experience," he said." It's a good formula for success."
Leading the Tigers are four senior captains -- attackers Mitch Collier and Trevor Howard, midfielder Matt Ackerman and goaltender Charlie Weierke. Collier, Howard and Ackerman paced the offense last season, with Collier scoring a team-high 12 goals and handing out eight assists, Ackerman scoring 11 goals and Howard netting four goals and 12 assists. Howard was also a 10-goal scorer as a sophomore.
Jake Baumann (six goals last season), Brenden Berg, Alex Rojesky, Cory Rudrud, Dan Block, Joey Todd, Marques Words, Michael Thompson and Kevin Clifton are other returning letterwinners at the attacker and midfielder positions.
On the defensive end, returning letterwinners Nathan Brunelle, Matt Heinzerling-Wiese and Carter Daigle lead a group that Sorensen said has gotten "more athletic across the board."
"What a great group of guys. We have a lot of talent and they have bought into what it takes as a team to be successful," Sorensen added. "A lot of credit to this year's upperclassmen for being the glue. Our expectations as a team are sky high this year."
Playing behind the revamped defense will once again be Weierke, who is in his third year of varsity action.
"Charlie is a born leader. He stands tall back there and has accepted what is expected of him from that end. Never too high or too low," Sorensen said. "He has really improved in a few areas of his game we talked about after last year and focused on being a better teammate and leader. He continues to improve daily."
Weierke was in net when the 14th-seeded Tigers bowed out to third-seeded Eagan in the first round of the section tournament last season. Sorensen hopes improvement across the board will allow his team to get into the top half of the section and earn the first home playoff game in program history.
"We want to be in the upper seeds of the district come selection time," he said. "Our schedule is set up against teams in our section and we feel confident that we will be there in the end."