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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Guards Austin Bassett and Darren Beenken are back from last year's otherwise senior-heavy team. What are you looking for from those two players this year? Those two along with Varner are the only guys with any real varsity game experience so we need those guys to accept on court leadership roles. Who are some other guards that could be ready to make a varsity impact? We have some depth at guard this year, but it's very young depth. We will be asking a lot of young guys to develop and mature quickly this season which isn't easy to do.
Farmington couldn't recover from slow starts in a pair of non-conference losses last week. The Tigers allowed three first-period goals to Hastings standout Danielle Duffy in an eventual 3-2 loss last Tuesday night at Hastings Civic Arena, then gave up two first-period goals in a 3-1 setback to Rochester Mayo Thursday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. Freshman forward Michaela Tonsager provided the lone goal 2:25 into the first period, putting away a rebound after a shot by Haley Doll.
Farmington once again saved its best for last at the Class 2A State Swimming and Diving Championships. The Tigers, who set all-time program bests last year when they placed 17th at state with 43 points, raised the bar with another record-setting performance in Saturday's finals at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.
The boys hockey team once again prepared for the season with some scrimmages in Duluth last weekend. How did it go? We had a good weekend up north. Friday afternoon we had practice at Amsoil Arena in Duluth with a tour of facility with Bulldog equipment manager and fomer Tiger Kyle Lemke. We also got to see UMD play Mankato that night. Saturday we had split squad outings against Eveleth (won 5-1) and Virginia (won 4-1) and a varsity scrimmage against Proctor (won 4-1).
Farmington turned in seven school-record swims and qualified six events for the upcoming Class 2A State Meet during a third-place finish in the Section 1AA Championships Saturday at the Rochester Rec Center. Rochester John Marshall beat runner-up Rochester Mayo 381-374 for the team title. The Tigers were third in the seven-team field with 316 points. "Keeping with Lady Tiger tradition, we had an awesome prelims and an even better finals," Farmington coach Jen Marshall said. "Girls were dropping chunks of time in every event. As a team we dropped a total of 88.83 seconds in prelims.
Krystal Baumann and Hannah Alexander combined for 266 goals and 186 assists while helping Farmington win 119 games over the last six years. With the high-scoring tandem lost to graduation, the Tigers may have to find a way to win a few more low-scoring games this season. Senior goaltender Jessica Erchul helped them do that in last Thursday's season opener, stopping 26 shots in a 2-1 win over Rochester John Marshall at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The Rockets got on the board first on a 5-on-3 power play 4:31 into the first period.
Farmington turned in six school-record swims and qualified six events for the upcoming Class 2A State Meet during a third-place finish in the Section 1AA Championships Saturday at the Rochester Rec Center. Rochester John Marshall defeated runner-up Rochester Mayo 381-374 for the team title. The Tigers were third in the eight-team field with 316 points. Kaitlyn O'Reilly captured the Tigers' lone section title, winning the 100 backstroke in a section-record time of 57.18 seconds.
Senior goaltender Jessica Erchul stopped 26 shots in a season-opening 2-1 win over Rochester John Marshall Thursday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. All three goals were scored in the first period. The Rockets took an early lead on a 5-on-3 power play, but Haley Doll quickly answered with a goal to tie the game. Chloe Batta scored on a wrap-around with under a minute left in the period that turned out the be the difference-maker. The Tigers (1-0) complete again this weekend when they make their first appearance at the six-team Hibbing jamboree.
It was rare to see a Farmington player on both offense and defense this season. The Tigers instituted a platoon system this year that allowed players to focus either on offense or defense. The result, according to head coach Mark Froehling, was a team that showed up on Friday nights much more prepared as it won three games and played its opponents close into the fourth quarter in six of nine outings. "The system allowed us to spend more time teaching and learning on both sides of the ball. The players liked it and the coaches liked teaching in that system.
You lose just three players from last year's 20-7 team, but they're a very important three players in forwards Krystal Baumann, Hannah Alexander and Emily Severson. How does the absence of those three affect your overall style of play? Will you play a more defensive-minded game or does your strategy not change that much based on personnel? Defense is always a priority for any team. This year we have pledged to each other as players and coaches that we will take pride in how we take care of our defensive zone. There are many ways to go about creating a philosophy on how to win games.