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Farmington girls soccer: Tigers double up Rockets

Farmington’s Destiny Schmitz sends the ball away from JM’s goalie and toward Shannon McKnight for the first goal in last Thursday’s 4-2 win.

A return to its home turf got the Farmington offense going again last Thursday night.

Coming off back-to-back scoreless outings – a 2-0 loss to Prior Lake and a 0-0 overtime tie last Tuesday at Lakeville South – the Tigers produced 17 shots on goal and converted on four of them in a 4-2 non-conference win over Rochester John Marshall in their home opener at a sweltering Tiger Stadium.

“The heat was a factor. We tried to hold possession as much as we could, create solid opportunities up top and play steady in the middle,” first-year head coach Tracie Randall said.

The Tigers missed a few chances early, but got on the board 12 minutes in when Destiny Schmitz beat John Marshall’s goalkeeper to the ball and found Shannon McKnight, who found the open net for her first goal of the season.

Schmitz went on to score a pair of second-half goals of her own, with assists coming from Megan Graham and Kelli Elmer.

“Schmitz always plays hard. She’s a player I can look to to get in and get the job done,” Randall said. “She is a serious player and won’t give up until the whistle blows.”

Sarah Zak provided the other Farmington goal on another assist from Elmer late in the first half.

Dani Wright made the start in goal with all-conference keeper Ashley Becker sidelined with a shoulder injury. She allowed two goals and finished with six saves in her first career win.

“One goal resulted from miscommunication with the defense and one was a good shot, even the most experienced goalies wouldn’t have been able to stop, it was that nice,” Randall said.

Two days earlier, the Tigers used a strong defensive effort to play Lakeville South to a 0-0 overtime tie on the road at South. The Cougars had scored a combined 13 goals in wins over John Marshall and Owatonna before behind blanked by the Tigers for 90 minutes.

“We played a great game. The girls did everything I asked them to, we just couldn’t find the back of the net,” Randall said.

Randall made special note of defender Izzie Ferm’s effort in helping preserve the tie.

“She showed us why she is among the top 10 to look at in the state. She is such a powerful force physically and vocally in the back,” she said. “She directs traffic and takes on a huge responsibility keeping her midfield informed and on task in crucial moments.”

The Tigers (2-1-1) are back at home Saturday against Owatonna. The game gets under way at 11 a.m.