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 first two games of the 2010 season played out much like the 2009 campaign for the Farmington girls soccer team. The Tigers showcased superior soccer skills in a season-opening 8-0 win at Faribault last Thursday, but couldn't keep pace against a much more physical Prior Lake team in a 2-0 road loss Friday. The Tigers finally bucked that trend on Saturday, beating a Waconia team that second-year coach Rob Carpentier described as "young, but very physical" by a score of 3-0.
Farmington's boys and girls soccer teams opened the 2010 season with matching lopsided victories over Faribault Thursday afternoon. The Tiger boys scored three goals in a three-minute span in the closing minutes of the first half en route to a 6-0 triumph over the Falcons at Tiger Stadium. Meanwhile, the Farmington girls were posting their second straight 8-0 win in Faribault. Christian Thao scored twice for the Tiger boys. Devyn Alberts and Alaina Trowbridge each knocked in two goals for the girls.
Don't expect another 4-11 season from the Farmington boys soccer team. With 11 letterwinners back from last year and a crop of talented freshmen ready to add to the mix, head coach Julian Buss is confident his second season at the Tiger helm will be more successful than his first. "This roster is loaded with year-round soccer players who know how to play the game and who have been working together on the field for years," Buss said. "Every player on this team knows how to play the game.... They play together in the fall, they play indoor in the winter, they play spring and summer soccer.
The Farmington girls soccer team is making it a point to focus on reaching its potential -- and avoid any talk about wins and losses. The Tigers, coming off a program-best 9-5-2 season that ended with a first-round section loss to Eastview, return a host of talented players that second-year coach Rob Carpentier believes has the talent to compete against the elite teams in the metro. But he's not about to throw out any expectations that involve season records or conference awards. "I am not focusing on wins and losses. In fact, I won't even utter the words.
The Farmington football team will face three unfamiliar opponents this season with the addition of a non-conference game against Hudson (Wis.) and contests against new Missota Conference members Chaska and Chanhassen. It seems appropriate, since the Tigers, themselves, might be difficult to recognize. The team lost 33 seniors to graduation from last year's 3-6 squad, and returns just four starters.
Senior Tyler Grubb was the winner of the annual Ironman competition on the first day of football practice Monday afternoon at Farmington High School. Grubb outclassed 79 teammates with a score of 4,535 points in the eight-event competition, defeating runner-up CJ Record by just under 200 points. Sebren Baer finished third with 4,339 points, followed by John Schimmel with 4,125 points and Tommy Korbein with 4,001 points. Grubb finished first in two events. He won the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.6 seconds and tied for first with Baer with 33 tire flips.
The Farmington girls swimming and diving team doesn't ease into the season. The 50 or so high schoolers who reported to the first practice of the season Monday morning at Levi Dodge Middle School were treated to a 7,700-yard workout courtesy of 11th-year head coach Jen Marshall. Marshall said her swimmers were ready for the base training, as about half of them spent the summer participating in club swimming and swim camps. "They exceeded my expectations.
Plenty of good volleyball players have come and gone during the last four years, but Farmington coach Mike Woody has always found a way to build around his returning players with a cast of newcomers and form a winning team. The 2010 season could be Woody's biggest challenge yet. The Tigers started practice Monday morning at Farmington High School without six senior regulars that helped lead the team to its first appearance at the Class 3A State Tournament last fall at Xcel Energy Center.
Everybody should be back this year for a Farmington girls cross country team that improved from 11th to ninth place at last year's section meet while fielding a senior-less lineup. Experience and leadership will come from this year's lone senior, Nicole Clifton, as well as varsity veterans Bailey Opsal (junior), Marissa Stewart (junior) and Maria Kiminski (sophomore). Clifton led the Tigers with a 37th-place finish at last year's Section 1AA meet, while Opsal led the way with a 23rd-place showing at the Missota Conference Championships.
Elliot Fenske has some high expectations for his senior season and, apparently, the people at the Minnesota State High School League do, as well. The Farmington senior sits 13th in the MSHSL's pre-season rankings for Class 2A cross country coming off a junior season in which he finished 28th in the state meet with a time of 16 minutes, 36 seconds on the hilly course at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Seventeen of the top 27 state finishers were seniors, so Fenske is eager to get back to state and see how far he can move up.