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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The Farmington girls hockey team saw its losing skid stretch to six games after three more setbacks last week. The Tigers (1-6) scored just one goal during the slide, a first-period score by Haley Doll Saturday in an eventual 3-1 loss to 10th-ranked (Class 2A) Lakeville South at Haase Arena. Before that, the Tigers were shut out 2-0 last Thursday at New Prague and 1-0 in overtime last Tuesday at Wayzata. Senior goaltender Jessica Erchul gave up two early goals against the Cougars, but kept the game close by stopping 32 shots.
Saturday's finish at the Lakeville North Invite showed Farmington wrestling coach Chad Olson how much his team has improved over the last year. The Tigers finished 10th at the meet for the second straight time, but this year it came against a field of 16 teams rather than 14. Six of the team's wrestlers placed in the top six, up from four a season ago, and the Tigers combined to score 72 1/2 points. "It was a tougher tournament with more teams and we placed six wrestlers," Olson said. "Overall, we wrestled really well.
The Farmington boys hockey team is starting the 2011-12 season with games against six straight Section 1AA opponents. The Tigers are hoping wins will be easier to come by in the next four than they were in the first two. After skating to a 2-2 tie against an equally inexperienced Rochester John Marshall team in last Tuesday's season opener, the Tigers allowed four straight goals in an eventual 6-2 loss to Rochester Century back at Schmitz-Maki Arena Thursday. "Century's core group were juniors last year and are mostly intact -- and it showed," Farmington coach Keith Revels said.
For the first time in the history of NCAA Division II women's volleyball, Concordia University (34-2) captured a fifth consecutive NCAA Division II Championship by defeating top-ranked, previously unbeaten and tournament host California State University San Bernardino (32-1) in straight sets (25-20, 31-29, 25-18) on Saturday night at Coussoulis Arena. The Golden Bears have now won 30 consecutive NCAA Tournament matches and have eliminated CSUSB in four consecutive years.
Farmington basketball coach Shane Wyandt figured there would be some mistakes made by his young and inexperienced team in Friday night's season opener against Rochester John Marshall. But even he was surprised by just how many things the Tigers were left to work on after a 59-35 loss to the Rockets. The team committed 36 turnovers, shot 28 percent from the field and made less than half of its free throws as it started the season with a 24-point loss to a team it beat by 31 a year ago. "Those categories tell the story of the game," Wyandt said.
Tuesday, Dec. 27 at Schmitz-Maki Arena 1 p.m. Sartell-St. Stepehns/Sauk Rapids-Rice vs. Rosemount 3 p.m. Apple Valley vs. Hastings 5 p.m. Park Cottage Grove vs. Lakeville North 7 p.m. Eastview vs. Farmington Wednesday, Dec. 28 1 p.m. Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 3 p.m. Loser of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 5 p.m. Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 7 p.m. Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4 Thursday, Dec. 29 1 p.m. 7th-place game 3 p.m. 5th-place game 5 p.m. 3rd-place game 7 p.m. Championship game
When talking about his team's hopes of winning a third straight Missota Conference title recently, Farmington head coach Jon Holmes insisted Chaska/Chanhassen and Shakopee should be considered the favorites. The Stormhawks looked the part in last Tuesday's conference opener, scoring early and often in an 8-1 rout of Farmington at Schmitz-Maki Arena. It was the Tigers' third straight loss and their most lopsided setback since a 9-0 blanking at South St. Paul in 2005.
From the coaching staff, to the roster to the style of play, this year's Farmington girls basketball team will look a lot different than last year's squad that went 23-4 and came up a game short of its first-ever state tournament. Coach Jason Berg resigned not long after the Tigers' emotional section finals loss to Rochester Mayo in March.
Guards Austin Bassett and Darren Beenken are back from last year's otherwise senior-heavy team. What are you looking for from those two players this year? Those two along with Varner are the only guys with any real varsity game experience so we need those guys to accept on court leadership roles. Who are some other guards that could be ready to make a varsity impact? We have some depth at guard this year, but it's very young depth. We will be asking a lot of young guys to develop and mature quickly this season which isn't easy to do.
Farmington couldn't recover from slow starts in a pair of non-conference losses last week. The Tigers allowed three first-period goals to Hastings standout Danielle Duffy in an eventual 3-2 loss last Tuesday night at Hastings Civic Arena, then gave up two first-period goals in a 3-1 setback to Rochester Mayo Thursday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. Freshman forward Michaela Tonsager provided the lone goal 2:25 into the first period, putting away a rebound after a shot by Haley Doll.