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Boys soccer: Farmington beats South, falls to Spartans in 1AA

Last Thursday’s Section 1AA semifinal soccer game was a lot closer than the 4-0 final score would indicate.

After giving up an early goal on a corner kick, fourth-seeded Farmington stayed within striking distance of top-seeded Rochester Mayo for 60 minutes on the road in Rochester. It was only when the Tigers were forced to get more aggressive and send players forward in pursuit of the equalizing goal that the Spartans capped off the night with a three-goal flurry to advance face Owatonna in the 1AA finals.

“Once we pushed forward more we allowed them to get more dangerous and they finished three counter attacks,” Farmington coach Jason Obarski said. “That shows why the first goal is so important. It was a disappointing end to the season, but I don’t believe the score reflected the game.”

While the Spartans improved their record to 14-1-3, the Tigers finished with a 5-9-4 mark. Despite lots of injuries, the team showed improvement after going 2-15 the previous season.

“They did a nice job of continuing to fight through those and finish the season strong. We matured a lot from last season and throughout the year. I was pleased with the growth and development,” Obarski said. “Next year we will return nine players who saw varsity time this year. We will have some holes to fill, but should also continue to make some steps in the right direction like we did this year as a program.”

The Tigers opened Section 1AA tournament play with their second victory over Lakeville South in a week last Tuesday, this time a 1-0 shutout at Tiger Stadium. The team kept the Cougars out of the net despite keeper Colin O’Conner leaving the game with a red card with 18 minutes to go. South’s keeper received a red card, as well, with two minutes remaining.

“I have never seen a game with both teams’ goalies receiving a red card, so that was a first for everyone I think,” Obarski said. “It was a tense 16 minutes when we were playing down a player…. The boys showed a lot of grit in order to get the job done.”

Jonah Buchwald scored the lone goal of the game late in the first half.