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Farmington girls lacrosse: Cougars play keep-away in finals

Defenders Shaye Jenrich (3) and Kylee Glen (5) step up to stop a Lakeville South shot late in the first half of last Wednesday’s Section 1 championship game at Tiger Stadium. South advanced to state with a 12-5 victory.

Sixth-ranked Lakeville South did a successful job playing keep-away in last Wednesday’s Section 1 championship game.

The Cougars scored the final four goals of the first half to build a 7-4 lead, and won 13 of 19 draws to control possession throughout much of a 12-5 win over fifth-ranked Farmington at Tiger Stadium.

“We started losing draws and stopped getting possessions. Our offense looked good, but didn’t get the ball enough to put more past the goaltender,” Farmington coach Dan Pickens said. “Lakeville won a bunch of draws and went on a run at the end of the first half. The beginning and end of halves are huge — and they came up big.”

The top-seeded Tigers finished their record-setting season with a record of 14-2, with both losses coming to South. The Missota Conference champions will join the Cougars next spring in the South Suburban Conference.

“Despite going down the way we did, I know we made a statement that Farmington girls lacrosse has arrived and is going to be a strong program for years to come,” Pickens said. “I have to keep reminding myself and the girls not to be sad because it ended, but happy because it happened. This was an incredible ride. I knew we were going to be good this year, but had no idea that we would accomplish this.”

A group of 13 seniors led the Tigers this year, including Rachael Welzin and Maddie Kohlbeck, who next year will become the first Farmington girls lacrosse players to compete collegiately. Kohlbeck picked up 13 saves in her final game and Welzin led the team with two goals.

Ashley Steffes, Shelby Klotz and Becky Genzler each tacked on single goals.