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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After opening the season with back-to-back wins over Big Nine Conference teams Albert Lea and Austin, the Farmington volleyball team got a chance to measure itself against a stronger opponent Thursday in Rosemount. The Tigers were blown out 25-8 in Game 1, but improved throughout the final two games as they bowed out 25-21, 25-16 for their first loss of the season at Irish Gym. "The difference was completely defense. Rosemount is such a good defensive team, they make it tough to score points and that can be frustrating," Farmington coach Mike Woody said.
Farmington finished seventh in alum Lisa Lippold's debut as head coach Friday at the Dakota County Invitational in Eagan. Lakeville South won the nine-team meet, beating runner-up Eastview, 60-74. Eagan (91), Hill-Murray (103), New Prague (116) and Hastings (126) finished ahead of the Tigers, who scored 166 points. Sophomore Dan Block led the way for the Orange and Black, placing 23rd out of 77 runners with a 3,200-meter time of 11 minutes, 29 seconds.
Participation numbers for fall sports at Farmington High School are similar to last year's and continue to trend upwards over the last seven years, according to data recently compiled by athletics director Jon Summer. A total of 964 athletes are competing for the Tigers this fall in grades 7 through 12, up from 947 a year ago and an average of 866 over the last seven years. The sports with the biggest jump in participation this fall is cross country, with 16 more boys and seven more girls competing for the Tigers.
A fast start and a career night from junior quarterback Darren Beenken weren't enough to get Farmington a victory in its season opener Friday night in Rochester. Beenken threw for four touchdowns and helped the Tigers build a 21-0 lead by the middle of the second quarter, but Rochester Mayo responded with five straight touchdown drives and came from behind for a 35-28 victory over its Section 1AAAAA rivals. "We had a chance to win that football game. We talked at halftime about finishing the game and we still need to learn how to do that," Farmington head coach Mark Froehling said.
Boys Soccer Farmington 2 Rosemount 1 Girls Soccer Farmington 3 Rochester John Marshall 0 Girls Tennis Simley 6 Farmington 1 Volleyball Rosemount 3 Farmington 0, 8-25, 21-25, 16-25
Farmington withstood a late Albert Lea charge to open the season with a four-game victory Thursday night in Albert Lea. The Tigers rolled in the first two games, winning 25-13 and 25-16, before the host Tigers claimed a tight third game, 25-23. The visitors claimed the match by holding on for a 25-23 decision of their own in Game 4. Bekah Lippert led the Farmington front row in the program's first game since 2006 without standout Katie Habeck, slamming 12 kills in 21 attempts and recording five blocks.
The Farmington football team prepared for tomorrow night's season opener at Rochester Mayo by taking on three teams in a scrimmage Saturday at Lakeville North. The Tigers faced Lakeville North first, then took on North St. Paul before finishing with a matchup against Armstrong. "I thought that we saw good improvement throughout the scrimmage and we had some pretty good execution both on offense and defense," said Farmington head coach Mark Froehling, who returns nine starters from last year's 1-8 team. "There were a few errors in technique and in assignments both on offense and defense.
A scoreless tie Saturday night signaled a big step forward for the Farmington boys soccer program. The Tigers ran stride-for-stride on the road with a Lakeville North team that knocked them out of last year's Section 1AA tournament and went on to qualify for the Class 2A State Tournament. "We passed another test," coach Julian Buss said. "Can we play tough on the road, under the lights, against last year's Section 1AA champs? The answer is yes. The boys proved (Saturday) that we have elevated the level of play that can be expected to come from the Farmington boys varsity soccer program....
Apple Valley won seven of 12 events in its season-opening meet against Farmington last Thursday night at Levi Dodge Middle School. The Eagles couldn't match the Tigers' depth, however, as the Orange and Black used four 2-3-4 and three 1-2-3 finishes to open the season with a 92-85 dual win. The score was tied 15-15 through two events. Kirsten Kracke then gave the home team the lead for good by placing first in the 200 individual medley in a time of 2 minutes, 25.15 seconds.
Farmington soccer coach Rob Carpentier came away from the first week of the season more concerned about his team's lone loss than he was pleased with its two easy victories. As they did a season ago, the Tigers had little trouble disposing of Faribault and Waconia while picking up their first two wins. And like last year, they suffered their first defeat at the hands of a Lakers team that went on to finish just 6-8-3 against a strong South Suburban Conference schedule last season.