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 started to get into a goal-scoring groove in the third period of last Tuesday's game against Hastings, and it carried over into Thursday's contest against Rochester Mayo. The Tigers scored three goals in the final seven minutes of their season-opening loss 5-3 loss at Schmitz-Maki Arena and followed that up with a 7-0 rout of the Spartans. Farmington had a 31-17 advantage in shots on goal against Mayo and sophomore goaltender Maddie Bowe stopped all 17 for her first career shutout.
Farmington is hoping for improved offensive output after scoring 20 goals in four games in Hibbing. This week we talked to Jon Holmes, head coach of the Farmington High School girls hockey team, about the team's upcoming season. Last year's team slipped to 9-17 after back-to-back Missota Conference championships. In what areas does the team need to improve the most to put more games back in the win column this winter? The area we need to address most is scoring. Last year we averaged just over a goal and a half a game.
It's going to be another busy state meet for Kaitlyn O'Reilly. The junior will compete in four events this weekend at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center after setting two individual meet records and helping the Tigers qualify a pair of relays for state while placing fourth as a team Saturday at the Section 1AA Championships at the Rochester Rec Center. For her efforts, O'Reilly was honored as Farmington's first Section 1AA Swimmer of the Year.
A pair of Farmington runners came away satisfied with their performance at their first career state meet Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Sophomore Justin Hyytinen placed 29th in a time of 16 minutes, 11 seconds on the hilly 5,000-meter course and junior teammate Maricia Pacheco placed 134th with a 4,000-meter time of 15:51. Hyytinen turned in his best time of the season as he just missed All-State honors and came in sixth out of all the sophomores in the field. "Justin ran great at state. For him to place 29th and run his PR time of the season was a great accomplishment.
The Farmington boys soccer team celebrated its second straight eight-win season and third-place finish in the Missota Conference with a year-end banquet Tuesday, Oct. 23. The Tigers were led by a group of 13 seniors -- the largest in coach Julian Buss's four years at the helm. "We had a strong team bond and senior leadership was a big contributor to this," Buss said. "I would say that it seemed like a very special year, not so much in terms of overall wins or broken records, but in something intangible.... We had some very big wins and tough-to-stomach losses.
Ninth-ranked Apple Valley scored 28 unanswered points in the first half and pulled away with 21 points in the last five minutes in its 49-21 home victory over Farmington in the Section 3, Class 5A championship game Friday night. The Eagles showcased their advantage in size and athleticism on the line of scrimmage as they racked up over 500 total yards and held Farmington to 201. They improved to 8-2 and advanced to a showdown with No.
Back in late August, Farmington finished a lonely third place at the first-ever Missota Conference Relays. They watched as talented Chanhassen and Northfield squads pulled away and the rest of the eight-team field lagged well off the pace. The Missota Conference Championships unfolded the same way last Saturday in Northfield. Chanhassen won the team title 495-476 over the host Raiders, the Tigers once again placed third, this time with 330 points, and the rest of the eight-team field finished over 100 points back. The Tigers' top individual finishes came from Kaitlyn O'Reilly.
The Farmington volleyball team fell short in a marathon 29-27 opening set and couldn't recover in a sweep at the hands of Rochester Mayo in the second round of the Section 1AAA tournament last Friday in Rochester. The third-seeded Spartans (16-11) advanced to face Faribault in the semifinals by winning the last two sets, 25-20 and 25-10. The Tigers closed out the season with a record of 14-15, a seven-win improvement from last season and the most wins since the team went 20-12 in 2009.
Both the Farmington boys and girls cross country teams placed sixth and advanced an individual to the state meet at last Thursday's Section 1AA Championships at rain-soaked Brooktree Golf Course in chilly Owatonna. The boys will be represented at St. Olaf College in Northfield Saturday afternoon by sophomore Justin Hyytinen, who ran a third-place time of 16 minutes, 18 seconds, for 5,000 meters in his first-ever section cross country meet.
Saturday night's Section 3, Class 5A semifinal was anything but your typical grind-it-out, late-October football game. Second-seeded Farmington and third-seeded Minneapolis Southwest opted to stick with their pass-friendly spread offenses and it paid off for both teams. The two offenses combined for nearly 800 yards and 84 points despite temperatures that dipped into the upper 20s at Tiger Stadium. But it was the Farmington defense that stepped up to make the game's biggest plays when it mattered most.