Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
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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 pair of 3-0 losses slipped the Farmington volleyball team back below the .500 mark last week. The Tigers suffered a 25-13, 26-24, 25-15 setback last Tuesday at Rochester Mayo, and then returned home Thursday and were dealt a 25-17, 25-16, 25-15 loss by 10th-ranked (Class 3A) Chaska in front a big Homecoming crowd at Tiger Gym. Emma Fahning led the Tigers with nine kills and 11 digs. Emily Nelson added seven kills and Mia Johnston provided 11 set assists.
The Farmington girls soccer team kept itself in position to play for the Missota Conference championship this week by knocking off Chaska 2-0 last Tuesday at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers outshot Chaska 21-2 and got goals from Alex Frost and Kelli Elmer as they improved to 5-0 heading into Tuesday's home game against fellow unbeaten Holy Angels.
Friday night's Homecoming football game at Tiger Stadium had all the elements of a climactic scene in a cliché-filled sports movie. There were high stakes -- the Tigers entered undefeated and ranked sixth in the state -- a couple of lead changes, a few big plays and a drama-filled final drive that brought the entire game down to one final play.
Justin Hyytinen was part of plenty of first-place finishes during his freshman track campaign last spring. He added a cross country gold medal to his collection last Tuesday in New Prague. The sophomore clocked in at 16 minutes, 38 seconds on the 5K?course, placing him first out of 85 runners. He led the Tigers to fourth place out of 12 teams. Freshman Alex Hart also cracked the top 20, placing 19th in 17:53.
The sixth-ranked (Class 5A) Farmington football team hung on for a 27-23 victory in Friday's Homecoming game at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers (4-0) led by as many as 10 points on Athen Ashton's 17-yard touchdown run on a draw play early in the second quarter before the Hawks answered with two straight touchdown drives. With the score 20-20, the Tigers drove 85 yards on nine plays in the final 2:13 of the half to take a 27-20 lead on a 25-yard heave from quarterback Darren Beenken to Mac Bassett in the back of the end zone with 18.5 seconds remaining.
The Farmington boys and girls cross country teams both finished a close second in the final standings at last Thursday's Pine Island Invitational at Pine Island Golf Course. The Tiger boys scored 77 points, 16 off the pace of meet champion Faribault. Justin Hyytinen once again paced the Orange and Black with a third-place time of 16 minutes, 63 seconds on the 5,000-meter course.
The last two-plus seasons of Farmington volleyball have been riddled with competitive matches that didn't go the Tigers' way in the end. It had been over two years since the Tigers had pulled out a five-game match before last Tuesday night when they pulled away from Rochester Century 15-10 in the decisive game of a five-game thriller at Tiger Gym. The home team won Game 1 25-19 before falling 18-25, 18-25 in the next two. A 25-22 win in Game 4 set the stage for the Tigers' first five-game victory since Sept.
The Farmington girls soccer team hasn't allowed a goal in its last four games, but head coach Rob Carpentier doesn't get the sense his squad is brimming with confidence at the moment. That's because the Tigers played nearly 80 minutes of scoreless soccer against a reeling New Prague team before Hannah Miller's free kick in the final minute bounced off a defender and into the net to secure a 1-0 victory on Thursday. The Tigers out-shot the Trojans 37-1 before Miller's goal. "I think our confidence took a hit by only scoring once against New Prague.
The Farmington girls swimming and diving team built a big lead early and swam the final three events as exhibitions as it improved to 3-1 in the Missota Conference with a 90-87 dual win over Chaska last Thursday at Dodge Middle School. "We had a decent meet last (Thursday)," Farmington coach Jen Marshall said. "We're starting to enter what we have coined as the 'Dog Days' of the season. The excitement of the beginning has worn off and it's too early to get pumped for championship season. "We're still seeing time drops though and that is impressive.