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Farmington girls lacrosse: Tigers cap off 12-1 season with Missota crown

Senior members of the Farmington girls lacrosse team sport their new t-shirts after winning the Missota Conference championship.

It turns out there was good reason for the optimism Farmington girls lacrosse coach Dan Pickens expressed when discussing his team back in March.

“This year will be bigger, mark my words,” Pickens said, citing the experience, talent and leadership returning from last spring’s 8-7 team.

Those attributes all came together this season and resulted in the program’s most successful season to date. The Tigers rolled through their final three games last week, improving their record to 12-1 heading into Tuesday’s Section 1 tournament opener against Northfield at Tiger Stadium. The team earned the No. 1 seed in the section for the first time ever and claimed the first and last Missota Conference championship with its 17-3 rout of Shakopee in Friday’s regular season finale.

“This was an incredible season. Once we are finished with the playoffs or state I will have a chance to comb through some of the scores and stats because I am sure we broke just about all of our individual and team records,” said Pickens, whose team is ranked fifth in the state. “I feel honored to be able to coach these girls to such a successful season, now we just need to finish it with our first trip to the state tournament.”

Farmington 17,

Shakopee 3

The Tigers capped off a Missota Conference season where they outscored their opponents 68-16 with Friday’s win at Shakopee.

The visitors eased up after building a 12-0 halftime lead and coasted to their 11th win in a row.

“Although the game wasn’t very competitive, we had a lot of fun as it was the last regular season game for the girls,” Pickens said. “We played some different positions and the girls were their normal respectful selves.”

Kaeli Halverson paced 13 Farmington goal-scorers with a hat trick. Kelly Kornmann and Ashley Steffes each found the net twice and Jill Tollefson, Kylee Glen, Amanda Davenport, Alexis Stanley, Nikki Colvart, Brooke Raske, Becky Genzler, Shelby Klotz, Rachael Welzin and Ali Saby netted single goals. Welzin and Steffes each handed out two assists.

Farmington 19,

John Marshall 6

A night earlier, the Tigers scored their highest point total of the season in a 19-6 Senior Night victory over Rochester John Marshall.

“This was an extra special Senior Night as we celebrated 13 seniors that have been crucial to starting lacrosse in Farmington,” Pickens said “Almost all of them had never picked up a lacrosse stick before they joined four years ago.… They have grown so much as lacrosse players and as leaders during their time with the team.”

Klotz set the pace offensively with four goals. Welzin, Halverson and Steffes each provided hat tricks and Genzler scored twice. Lindsay Benson, Kaitlyn Lacroix, Kamryn Corraro and Davenport each scored once.

Goaltender Maddie Kohlbeck stopped four shots in the first half and Scootie Donnelly made five saves after the break.

Farmington 8,

East Ridge 7

Welzin’s heroics helped the Tigers win a close game for the first time all season last Tuesday against 10th-ranked East Ridge.

Welzin tied the game at 6-6 with a goal late in regulation and then netted the game-winner in overtime.

“We talk about big players playing big in big games. That is what happened with our four top scorers getting all the tallies,” Pickens said. “East Ridge is an up-and-coming team, one that can contend for a state tournament berth this year. We showed that we can come to play in the big games.”

Welzin and Klotz each finished with hat tricks. Genzler and Steffes added goals and Davenport handed out two assists.

Kohlbeck had her best game of the season in net, stopping 18 of 25 East Ridge shots.