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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A couple of bad breaks early on set the tone for Farmington's second straight 0-2 showing at the Class 3A state tournament in North Mankato. After getting the leadoff hitter on base in last Thursday's first-round game against Forest Lake, No. 2 hitter Molly Berdan hit a ground ball that looked destined for right field. Instead, the ball hit the base runner for an out and the Tigers went quietly in the top of the first. An inning later, a close call at second base went Forest Lake's way and paved the way for a two-run inning.
For the second straight year the Farmington softball team came away from the Class 3A state tournament with a pair of losses. The Tigers (19-7) had several scoring opportunities in their first-round game against third-ranked Forest Lake Friday morning, but couldn't get back the two runs they allowed in the first inning in a 3-1 loss. The team once again fell behind early and struggled to string together hits in their consolation bracket game against Orono. Orono led 1-0 after an inning and advanced to the consolation championship with a 2-0 win.
There could be no more fitting end to the Farmington boys lacrosse team's season than another one-goal loss. The latest heartbreaking defeat came last Tuesday when the fifth-seeded Tigers overcame a four-goal deficit only to fall to fourth seed Rochester Century 9-8 in the opening round of the Section 1 tournament. The Tigers earned a final record of 8-6, with all six setbacks coming by a single goal.
The Farmington girls lacrosse team just about kept pace with undefeated Lakeville South over the first 38 minutes of last Friday's Section 1 semifinal game at Lakeville North. The Cougars took the lead with a late flourish in the first half, and then pulled away with three goals in the final five minutes of a 12-6 win over the Tigers. Third-ranked South advanced to face Lakeville North in the section finals Tuesday afternoon, while the Tigers bowed out with an 8-7 record. "It was a good game, much closer than the final score shows.
Farmington will have a chance to improve on both of last year's sixth-place finishes when the Class 2A state track meet gets under way tomorrow at Hamline University in St. Paul. Izzie Ferm was sixth as a sophomore last year in the 400, and helped the Tigers' 4x400 relay reach the same spot on the podium. Ferm sewed up her return trip with a section-winning time of 57.43 seconds Saturday at Lakeville South.
The Farmington boys track team was at its best in the relays at Saturday's Section 1AA Championships. The Tigers took a pair of section titles and qualified three of their relays for this weekend's Class 2A state meet while placing in a tie for second as a team with 70 points at Lakeville South. Rochester Century won the meet with 82 points and Owatonna matched Farmington's 70. Justin Hyytinen ran legs of both of the Tigers' championship relays, and stepped away to claim the team's lone individual state qualification with a personal-best time of 4 minutes, 23.58 seconds that was good enough
It had only been a couple of days, but by Monday Farmington softball coach Paul Harrington was already talking about Friday's Section 1AAA tournament finals in Northfield as one that a lot of players and fans will remember for a long time. More specifically, he was talking about the conclusion of the first game of a doubleheader against Hastings that the Farmington softball team needed to sweep in order to advance to its second straight state tournament.
Four times during the regular season the Farmington baseball team lost games where its pitching and defense held an opponent to four or fewer runs. It happened again in the opening round of the Section 1AAA tournament.
After losing 10-8 to Chaska/Chanhassen on May 9, the Farmington girls lacrosse team fell to 2-6 and would need to win their last five games to finish with an above .500 record. The Tigers did just that, scoring a pair of one-goal victories over Rochester John Marshall and Owatonna and blowing out Rosemount and Rochester Mayo over the last two weeks before closing out the regular season with a 10-9 triumph on the road at Hill-Murray last Thursday. "It was a great finish to an up and down season, or should I say a down and up season," Farmington coach Dan Pickens said.
A couple of lopsided games last week gave the Farmington boys lacrosse team a chance to prepare for the section tournament. The Tigers got some younger players a little varsity experience and rested a few starters while downing St. Cloud Tech 17-5 and Simley 12-7 in a pair of road games that closed out an 8-5 regular season. All five of those losses have come by a single goal. "It gave us a lot of room to play some guys that will be a part of our program for a few more years," Farmington coach Paul Sorensen said.