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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Farmington spent the last week of the regular season building up its confidence with a pair of shutout victories. But any of the confidence gained with a 4-0 win over Chaska and a 7-0 blanking of New Prague gave way to uncertainty when starting goalkeeper Taylor Meyer and defensive specialist Shelby Calhoun were lost due to ankle injuries during Saturday's regular season finale against Apple Valley.
The Farmington football team is starting to get the hang of its new spread offense. The Tigers, who were shut out in back-to-back games at Chanhassen and at Shakopee earlier this season, have put up 43 points in their last two losses. The latest setback was a 21-16 nail-biter on the road against a conference-leading Northfield team that had outscored its previous four opponents by a combined 114-28. Northfield (5-1, 5-0) built a 14-0 advantage in the first quarter of Friday night's homecoming game courtesy of a pair of touchdown runs by standout back Davonte Jacobs.
Both the Farmington boys and girls soccer teams have aspirations of advancing past the first round after both suffered section-opening losses a year ago. The Tiger girls team played to a record of 9-7-1 during the regular season, earning them a No. 5 seed in Section 3AA and a Tuesday night (7 p.m.) road game against a Rosemount team that defeated them 2-0 back in early September. The boys team (6-10) was named the No. 7 seed in Section 1AA and will take on No. 2 Lakeville North at 7 p.m. on Thursday night.
Apple Valley set a state record in Saturday's regular-season finale at Tiger Stadium, defeating Farmington 5-0 for its 41st consecutive victory. The Eagles (17-0) haven't lost since the 2008 state tournament. They went 24-0 in winning the Class 2A state title last year and closed out the regular season with four second-half goals against the Tigers Saturday. Stillwater held the previous record with 40 straight wins from 1995-97
The Farmington football team gave Missota Conference-leading Northfield all it could handle in a 21-16 loss Friday night in Northfield. The Tigers (1-5) trailed 14-0 after a quarter, but rallied to tie the game by halftime thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Darren Beenken to Dayne Eich and Nathan Graham. Northfield took the lead on a touchdown with four minutes to go. The Tigers scored again on a snap out of the back of the end zone for a safety late in the fourth quarter, but came up short in their final drive in the closing minute.
Boys soccer Farmington 3 New Prague 0 Girls soccer Farmington 7 New Prague 0 Volleyball Farmington 1 Northfield 3 Cross country at Rogers Invite Girls 2nd place Boys 5th place (Elliot Fenske second in season-best time of 16:24)
The Farmington boys and girls soccer teams scored a sweep of Chaska in Missota Conference play Tuesday afternoon at Tiger Stadium. The girls opened the doubleheader with a 4-0 win, then the boys hung on for a 4-3 victory.
The Farmington volleyball team picked up an easy three-set win over Holy Angels in front of a big Jam the Gym crowd Thursday night. That momentum didn't carry over into the weekend, however, as the Tigers continued their recent trend of coming up just short in close games. The team lost three competitive matches during a fifth-place finish at the Rochester Century Tournament. The Tigers opened with a 26-24, 25-17 loss to the host Panthers, then fell 25-21, 25-21 to a White Bear Lake team they beat two weeks ago.
Farmington senior Elliot Fenske cut 23 seconds off last year's time and defended his meet title at Tuesday's New Prague Invitational. Fenske, who ran a 17:10 on the course last fall, outclassed the field with a 5,000-meter time of 16:47. His high finish helped the Tigers to a second-place team score of 63 points in the nine-team meet. The Tigers finished 14 points off the pace of team champion New Prague, but head coach Keith Revels thought his team would have had a shot at the title had Chad Retterath and Lincoln Kirchoff been healthy. Instead, Carl Elmer stepped up into the team's No.
The Farmington swimming and diving team made a splash at the Marauder Invite at St. Catherine's College Saturday. The Tigers opened the meet by winning the 200 medley relay and freshman Kaitlyn O'Reilly went on to win two individual races, helping the team to a second-place finish out of 15 teams. Mounds View ran away with the team title in the true team scoring format with 1,608.5 points, but the Tigers topped the rest of the field with 1,172.5 points. O'Reilly was a big reason why.