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 volleyball, boys soccer and girls soccer teams all suffered setbacks Thursday night. The volleyball team suffered its first setback of the season 25-19, 25-13, 25-11 at Lakeville South. The Tiger boys soccer team was also dealt its first loss of the year, 2-1 at home against a Winhawks team that defeated them 8-0 last season. The girls soccer team evened its record at 2-2 with a 3-2 loss at Eagan.
A little adversity didn't affect the new-look Farmington volleyball team in its first game of the 2010 season. The Tigers, playing with a lineup that featured just two returning letterwinners from last year's state-qualifying team, overcame a five-point deficit late in Game 2 and held on after a back-and-forth Game 3 to score a season-opening 25-17, 26-24, 27-25 sweep of Hasting Friday night in Hastings. "They played really well together," coach Mike Woody said.
A busy first week of the season resulted in an 0-3 start for the Farmington girls tennis team. The Tigers sandwiched a 7-0 loss to South St. Paul Tuesday with a pair of third-place triangular finishes at the Mound Doubles Tournament and their own Farmington Invitational. "While we have played well, our opponents have for the most part been better," Farmington coach Jack Olwell said. "It has been a lean start to the year but the players are making great progress and the team has bonded well.
The Farmington girls swimming and diving team started the 2010 season by winning four events in a 95-88 dual victory over Apple Valley Thursday afternoon at Dodge Middle School. Cora Ruzicka and Kirsten Kracke were each part of two of those first-place finishes. Ruzicka edged teammate Chloe Holton for a winning time of 1 minute, 10.19 seconds in the 100 butterfly and Kracke finished just ahead of teammate Delaney Wright for a 1-2 Tiger showing in the 500 freestyle. Ruzicka, Kracke, Ellie Sundet and Kaitlyn O'Reilly closed out the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay in 3:59.54.
Three-hundred and twenty days later, the Farmington boys soccer team finally got its revenge against Rochester John Marshall. The Rockets cut the Tigers' season short last fall with a 2-1 decision in the section tournament that was their first victory after an 0-14-1 regular season.
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.