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Boys soccer: FHS is unbeaten in the Missota

Members of the Farmington boys soccer team protect themselves as they line up to block a free kick during last Tuesday's game at Tiger Stadium.

A pair of 1-0 finals last week boosted the Farmington boys soccer team's hopes for a Missota Conference championship and lowered its chances at home-field advantage in the upcoming Section 1AA playoffs.

The Tigers improved to 4-0-1 in the conference by scoring a goal in the closing minutes to sneak past Chaska last Tuesday at Tiger Stadium. The win kept them 1/2 game behind unbeaten and sixth-ranked (Class 1A) Holy Angels heading into Tuesday's showdown with the Stars at Tiger Stadium. A win in that game and another in tonight's regular season finale at Shakopee would give the Tigers the Missota Conference title.

The team lost some momentum heading into the final week when it suffered a 1-0 setback to Owatonna last Thursday. The Huskies haven't lost a game in a month and look primed to earn a top seed in Section 1AA, while the Tigers lost a shot at home-field advantage as they slipped to 4-3 against section opponents.

"Owatonna has a strong program and is always a tough opponent. I feel that they are certainly a team we can beat if we can make a few minor adjustments in how we move around the field and play the ball," Farmington coach Julian Buss said. "I think we succeeded in passing well at times. Unfortunately, we could not control the ball as well as we were hoping for. In general, we spent too much time working on obtaining possession, only to give the ball back before a scoring opportunity could present itself."

Owatonna scored the lone goal of the game midway through the first half. Farmington defenders Eric Stoeckmann, Hunter Meyers, Robin DeCastro and Jeffrey Hanson played well to limit the Huskies' chances and keeper Sam Peterson made 18 saves to keep the game close.

Peterson saved all 10 shots that came his way to preserve the Tigers' third shutout of the season in last Tuesday's win over Chaska.

"Sam earned the shutout," Buss said. "The last three minutes of play alone had multiple shots and corner opportunities where Sam stepped up and took control of the goal area."

The game remained scoreless until the final three minutes when Michael Torgerson controlled a deflected Urive Omana shot and sent it into back of the net. Urive's initial shot came from 18 yards out after a cross from Jared Wolt.

"Farmington played an outstanding game. When we were on we were unstoppable," Buss said. "Multiple times throughout the game I reflected on how far this program has come in the last four years. The boys were making overlapping runs, communicating very well, using the sides of the field and really creating some excellent scoring opportunities.... It seems we have found our identity as a team."