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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Things weren't going well for Farmington even before the start of Saturday's non-conference hockey game against Simley at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The Tigers, playing their third game of the week, gave regular goalie Victor Simones the day off. An injury to back-up Austin Krause left goaltending duties to Nick Schoening, who made his first start of the season. Schoening was left to play behind a defense that was missing three of its top six players due to various injuries and other commitments. Once the game started, things got even worse.
Long first-half scoring droughts left Farmington playing from way behind in a pair of Missota Conference home losses last week. The Tigers trailed 35-16 at the break in a 65-52 loss to sixth-ranked (Class 4A) Chanhassen last Tuesday, and then put up just 12 points in the opening 18 minutes in a 41-30 setback Friday night back at Tiger Gym. "The team needs to keep playing aggressively on the offensive end. We did not get as many open looks as we did against Red Wing (70-68 loss on Jan. 6)," head coach Sondra Chadwick said.
A pair of varsity newcomers helped a short-handed Farmington wrestling team come away with a sweep of the Northfield Triangular Thursday night. Brian Caravantes picked up his first career varsity win with a decision at 138 pounds and Kirk Knapp did the same with a pin at 195 pounds as the Tigers rallied for a 34-33 dual victory over the host Raiders. "We had a few starters out, but some of our replacements did a great job filling in," Farmington coach Chad Olson said.
Farmington boys basketball coach Shane Wyandt didn't try to sugar-coat his team's 67-45 Missota Conference-opening loss at Shakopee Thursday night. "We came out with little intensity or toughness and we got the result it deserved," he said of the Tigers' sixth road loss in eight games. "We need to do something better as coaches to figure out why we can play so differently from home to the road.
Last season the Farmington swimming and diving team went to Northfield for the Section 1AA True Team meet and came back with the program's first championship. This year the Tigers got to defend that championship on their home turf. They won four of the meet's 12 events and sprinkled in 38 top-10 finishes in edging runner-up Owatonna 436-406 for Section 1AA True Team title Saturday at Levi Dodge Middle School.
Farmington showed some progress and exacted some revenge during a pair of Missota Conference contests last week. The Tigers opened the week with a 5-1 loss at Chaska/Chanhassen, but played the league leaders much tougher than they did earlier in the season when the Stormhawks invaded Schmitz-Maki Arena and came away with an 8-1 decision. The team returned home Friday night and skated to a 3-1 victory over a New Prague team they fell to 2-0 on Dec. 1. Haleigh Zwart gave Farmington the lead with an unassisted goal in the second period.
Southwest Minnesota State senior Abby Kenealy became the 18th member of the 1,000-point club finishing with 16 points but it would not be enough as Northern State University (10-7, 6-6 NSIC) went on to take a 69-55 win from the Mustangs on Saturday night in Marshall. Kenealy was 7 of 14 from the field to lead the Mustangs in scoring for the game. She was the only Mustang to reach double-digits. Kenealy is currently tied for 16th in scoring at SMSU with 1,014 career points. Kenealy, a 2008 Farmington High School graduate, was also a 1,000-pointer scorer for the Tigers.
Farmington defeated runner-up Owatonna 436-406 to capture its second straight Section 1AA True Team championship Saturday at Dodge Middle School. The Tigers will compete at the True Team State Meet next Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.
Farmington ended up 13th against a talented field of teams in the Maroon Division of the Maroon and Gold Invitational Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. The Tigers scored just 71 points, but head coach Ryan Hamen was pleased with his team's effort. "We did not score well, but the boys swam well," he said. "This is going to help us in true team, our depth. The boys are working very hard at their techniques and after every swim are talking about what they have to work on.
Just three games into its Missota Conference schedule, the Farmington boys hockey team has already experienced three extremely different results. After skating to a fairly comfortable 5-1 win over Shakopee in their league opener, the Tigers were blown out 11-2 by Holy Angels last Tuesday at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The team bounced back by playing rival Northfield to a 2-2 tie last Thursday at Northfield Ice Arena. "We bounced back well and played a very solid game," Farmington coach Keith Revels said. "We competed and worked hard, which is what we are asking them to do.