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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It shouldn't have been a surprise that Farmington's girls lacrosse team was a bit overmatched in its first two games as a Minnesota State High School League sanctioned sport last week. Going up against teams from Apple Valley and Park of Cottage Grove that played lacrosse at the varsity level last season, the Tigers lost a pair of road games by scores of 15-2 and 17-4. Apple Valley jumped out to a 6-0 halftime advantage in last Tuesday's opener, then put nine more shots past goalie Andrea Jacobson in the second half.
The first week of the softball season provided Farmington with a pair of confidence-boosting wins over Hutchinson and Red Wing. The second week was a bit more humbling. Going up against two of the metro's elite pitchers, the Tigers managed 10 hits over two games and suffered a pair of losses to undefeated teams from Shakopee (5-0) and Prior Lake (8-1). "This week we faced some of the toughest pitching in the state," first-year coach Rob Laden said.
Farmington's boys lacrosse team stumbled out of the blocks in its first week of varsity action. The Tigers made their debut last Tuesday with a 13-5 loss at Lakeville South. They played East Ridge/Park tough in last Thursday's home opener before falling 9-4, then saw their record drop to 0-3 with a 13-6 loss Monday night at Owatonna. Three of Farmington's six goals against Owatonna came from Mitch Collier. Quinn Malcolm and Jake Bauman also found the back of the net and Justin Rees had two assists. Owatonna scored five goals in the first period and upped its lead to 8-4 by halftime.
Contributions from athletes in the open running events, hurdles, field events and relays helped the Farmington girls track team stay in the middle of the pack with a 10th-place finish at the 20-team Mega Meet Friday at Lakeville North. In all, the Tigers managed nine top-10 finished against a field that also included Fargo South, Prior Lake, Lakeville North, Minnetonka, Grand Rapids, Ribbinsdale Armstrong, Mounds View, Rosemount and White Bear Lake in the top 10. "We had some very good performances," coach Tom Hart said. "This was quite a meet with a lot of great competition.
Outside of the state meet, it would be difficult to find a more impressive lineup of prep track and field teams than the one that gathered at Lakeville North for Friday's Mega Meet. Farmington finished 12th out of a field of 17 boys teams and cracked the top 10 in only six events, but the important number to head coach Brian Helmstetter was 22 -- the number of personal records turned in by his athletes during the windy 7 1/2 hour meet. Good competition produces good times and there was plenty of both in a meet where Wayzata outscored Eden Prairie, 96-92, for the team title.
The Metrodome may have been deemed obsolete for Major League Baseball, but it's still plenty good for Farmington high school's team. The Tigers ripped a season-high 16 hits under the teflon roof Saturday and got another solid start from Justin Lavey as they rolled past Hutchinson, 12-1. Hutchinson was a 3-2 winner in the previous matchup between the two teams 11 days earlier. "If I had $7,000, I'd schedule all our home games in the Dome," Farmington coach Mike Winters said.
First-year head boys golf coach Jon Holmes plans to juggle his varsity lineup for tonight's meet at Prior Lake after watching his JV team's top six beat his varsity team's top six by three strokes at Monday's season-opening Missota Conference meet. The Tigers' top six varsity golfers combined to shoot a team score of 520, with the top four golfers earning seventh out of eight teams with a 336 at River Oaks Golf Course. Prior Lake won the meet, 311-315, over runner-up Holy Angels. Sophomore Tommy May led Farmington with a seventh-place round of 78.
Even though his team scored a combined five runs in its first three games, all losses, Farmington baseball coach Mike Winters was confident the offense was improving. The Tigers proved their coach right Monday night, pounding out 10 hits in a 6-4 home win over Edina. "We have improved hitting the ball every game," Winters said. "This was one of the best games we've played in two years. Everybody was positive and participated in a positive manner. It was a lot of fun." The Tigers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the fun really started in the bottom of the sixth.
Sophomore Ben Cline's 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles highlighted Farmington's season-opening 6-1 tennis loss last Friday at Lakeville South. "(Cline) played his usual brand of relentless tennis, refusing to give his opponent anything easy," said Farmington coach Jack Olwell, who was unable to field a complete varsity lineup. "All things considered I think we had a good showing. We added a couple of new players this week, but not in time to add them to the varsity lineup, so we forfeited at No. 2 and 3 doubles. That may be the last time we have that problem." The No.
So far, so good for the Rob Laden era. The Farmington softball team, led by its first-year coach, came away with a pair of victories over Missota Conference rivals Hutchinson and Red Wing in the first two games of the 2010 season last week. The Tigers held on for a 5-3 win over Hutchinson last Wednesday, then used a four-run top half of the seventh inning to secure a 5-1 win Friday at Red Wing. Freshman pitcher Ashley Betzold picked up the winning decision in both games.