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Randall takes over as Farmington girls soccer coach

The new Farmington varsity girls soccer coach is a familiar face for many members of the team.

Tracie Randall was a JV coach for the Tigers for several seasons and coached some members of this year's senior class on a U15 club team that won a state championship in 2010. She will once again work with those players when practices get under way for the fall season on Aug. 13.

"It's kind of nice coming back to that group of kids for their senior year. I know how they play and have worked with them. It's icing on the cake to come back and see them again and graduate them," Randall said. "I think we'll make a good fit. Familiarity and relationships are there and I know a lot of the families, so the timing seems right."

It will be Randall's first varsity head coaching job, but she has been involved with soccer going back over 25 years. She grew up playing for Eagan club teams, and in high school played for the Burnsville team that lost the state championship game to Wayzata at the Metrodome during the 1991 Halloween blizzard. She played three years with the first women's team at Mankato State where she earned a degree in health education. She then moved right into coaching, spending four years as a ninth- and 10th grade coach at Eden Prairie and a year at Edison High School.

Randall got back into the south metro when she began coaching the Farmington U15 team in 2005. She has also run the middle school program at Farmington and coached several Lakeville club teams.

Randall moved back into the high school ranks as a JV coach for the Tigers. The program began its current run of success in 2009 as the varsity went 9-5-2. It won nine games again in '10 and eight in '11 before going 12-5-2 and reaching the Section 1AA semifinals last fall. Several key players return from that team, including all-conference selections Izzie Ferm, Kayla Kucala, Ashley Becker and Hannah Miller.

"I know where the kids want to go. We have so much strength coming back to the team. I think if we do what we need to do on the field, ultimately their goal is to try to get to the state tournament," Randall said. "I know for the seniors that's going to be the No. 1 priority."

Randall hopes her coaching can help not only improve young members of the team so they can contribute to the program, but also prepare those seniors for possible collegiate careers.

"I want to help with the growth and development of all the players, developing them from the freshmen on up and priming the seniors for their college experiences as well," she said.

The players are doing their part in preparing for what they hope is a memorable season. The Tigers have players competing at various club levels in Farmington, Apple Valley and Lakeville, as well as for the Dakota Rev.

"One of the things the previous coach and I said is that the girls have to be on the ball. It's getting so much more competitive and a lot of the girls are willing to put in the work. They're starting captains practices and utilizing their leadership skills to get the ball rolling," Randall said. "When I get to start working with them we're going to do some two-a-day practices, work on foot skills and start working on some set plays to see how we function as a team."

The Tigers host Burnsville and St. Louis Park for a scrimmage Aug. 20 and open the season with a pair of games in Prior Lake Aug. 23-24.