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Boys lacrosse: Tigers drop close ones

A couple of tightly-contested losses have the Farmington boys lacrosse team hanging on to a 6-5 record heading into the final game of the regular season.

The absences of key players due to injury and illness, and too many penalties, have been the major problems for the Tigers since their 5-1 start. Both of those things were going against the team Monday night in Richfield as defensive leader Matt Heinzerling-Weise sat out with an illness and the offense continued to adjust to the absence of senior captain Mitch Collier in a 15-12 loss to Holy Angels.

The Tigers played even with the Stars after falling behind 4-1 in the first quarter.

Corey Rudrud moved up to attacker for the first time this season and supplied four goals. Brendon Berg netted four goals and dished out one assist and Trevor Howard scored two goals and handed out four assists.

Chris Fitzgibbons and Alex Rojesky each scored single goals.

Goaltender Charlie Weierke stopped six Holy Angels shots.

The Tigers let a 6-4 halftime lead slip away in last Wednesday's 12-11 loss to section rival Rochester John Marshall. Nine penalties proved costly in what coach Paul Sorensen called "by far our most disappointing loss of the season."

The team once again fielded a makeshift lineup as Jake Bauman, Nathan Brunnelle and Caleb Hakala were out for the game.

"We let our mistakes overtake us again," Sorensen said. "We had our opportunities to run away with this one, but we just didn't finish."

Matt Ackerman paced the Tigers with four goals and handed out two assists. Berg scored a hat trick and Howard and Michael Thompson tossed in two goals apiece. Howard also supplied a team-high five assists. Fitzgibbons added one goal.

Weierke finished with 11 saves.

Weierke stopped 13 shots as the Tigers fought back for a 6-5 win over Owatonna last Tuesday at Tiger Stadium.

Sorensen praised the work of his defense in the contest, specifically noting the play of Bauman, who won 10 of 14 face-offs, and Alex Aubrecht, who grabbed seven ground balls.

"Nitty-gritty win, that's all I can say about that," Sorensen said. "We continue to learn how to win close games. It's time for us to tap into our talent and separate ourselves from our opponents."

Ackerman, Howard and Berg each scored two goals for the balanced Tigers. Howard handed out three assists.