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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Last week's Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic provided a stark contrast between the Farmington girls hockey teams of 2010-11 and 2011-12. A season ago, the Tigers scored 13 goals in three games and rolled past Apple Valley, Park of Cottage Grove and Hastings to the tournament title. This year's team -- without graduated seniors Krystal Baumann and Hannah Alexander, two of the top scorers in program history -- managed just four goals on 82 shots while falling to Eastview, Park and Hastings.
Farmington head coach Keith Revels is hoping a couple of tough losses to Suburban East Conference schools last week will have his team ready for its Missota Conference opener tomorrow night. The Tigers, mired in a three-game losing streak overall after a 3-1 loss to Hastings and a 3-2 setback at Cottage Grove, open up league play tomorrow night with a date against the Sabers at Shakopee Arena. "It was good preparation for us starting the Missota schedule next week," Revels said.
Farmington caught fire from three-point range and scored a season-high 79 points in what head coach Shane Wyandt called his team's "best game of the season" last Tuesday night against Park of Cottage Grove at Tiger Gym. Two nights later, the Tigers saw their road record fall to 0-4 as an equally-hot Simley team jumped out to a 19-0 advantage in an 87-70 setback. Simley ended up shooting 75 percent from beyond the three-point arc and 72 percent from the floor in the game.
The Farmington girls hockey team scored three goals in a game for the first time this season as it collected its third win in four tries against Section 1AA rival Owatonna Thursday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. After a scoreless first period, Grace Gavin got the Tigers on the board with a power-play goal in the second (assist to Betsy Anderson). The home team posted a 20-4 advantage in shots on goal in the second, but still led just 1-0 heading into the final 17 minutes. Anderson put the Huskies (5-5) away for good with a pair of unassisted goals in the third.
Hopkins won eight of 12 events to secure a 100-86 dual win over Farmington Thursday night at the Hopkins North Junior High pool. The hosts won the meet's first three events before Topher Kirchmann put the Tigers in the win column with a first-place time of 23.50 seconds in the 50 freestyle.
Taylor Meyer can't get back soon enough for the Farmington girls basketball team. The young Tigers continued to struggle last week without their six-foot senior leader, falling to 0-8 after lopsided losses to Hudson (Wis.) and Rochester Mayo. Meyer, a three-time all-conference selection and 1,000-point scorer, tore a ligament in her knee late last summer that forced her to miss the entire soccer season and the start of basketball. After a recent check-up with her doctor, she's hoping to be back in the lineup for the Tigers' Missota Conference opener next Friday at Red Wing.
It's been 10 years since the Farmington wrestling team has been on a roll like this. The Tigers, who started the season having gone without a dual win in nearly two years, are now in the midst of their longest winning streak since the 2001-02 season. They improved to 5-4 on the season with their fifth straight dual win, 57-14 over Lakeville South Thursday night at the Farmington High School Auxiliary Gym. Tiger wrestlers won 11 of the meet's 14 matches, including eight in a row at one point.
Rebounding struggles once again kept Farmington from getting into the win column Friday night. The Tigers bested their previous season-high point total by 12 points, but got outrebounded by Minneapolis Washburn 36-12 in a 57-50 non-conference clash at Tiger Gym. "Although it is always tough to lose, they are showing increased confidence on the court and as I've said all along, our success will be measured by our improvement from game to game," said first-year coach Sondra Chadwick, whose team fell to 0-6.
A full week of practice made a world of difference for the Farmington girls hockey team last week. The Tigers were well prepared for their home game against Shakopee Friday night and earned their first Missota Conference victory of the season 2-1 at Schmitz-Maki Arena. "We had a four-day practice week and it paid off. The girls worked hard all week at the new concepts and we did a nice job of implementing them against Shakopee," Farmington coach Jon Holmes said.
Seven first-place finishes lifted the Farmington swimming and diving team to a 94-87 victory over Northfield in its first Missota Conference meet of the season Thursday at Northfield Middle School. "Our varsity athletes showed a little more improvement from our invite in Prior Lake. Most swimmers are working very hard in order to achieve their goals. Practices have gotten more rigorous and, although the swimmers are having to get used to them, they are stepping up at meet time to perform," Farmington coach Ryan Hamen said. "We did very well but still are not satisfied.