Despite a roster with just one senior the Tigers returned to the top of the Missota Conference standings last winter and finished the season with an impressive 18-8-1 record. This year they are looking to hold on to their conference crown as well as win a section title and return to the state tournament.
"We are really positive when we look at the upcoming season," coach Jon Holmes said. "Not only have we been working on team concepts and skills the past few years, but these girls have now grown into young adults capable of performing at a level never before possible."
A glance at the roster shows the reasons for Holmes optimism. The Tigers return 14 letterwinners from last year's title team. The only missing link is captain and all-conference defender Angie Schull. Her presence will be missed but several hungry returnees appear ready to step in and pick up the slack.
This year's roster still contains just three seniors, but that trio of captains Krystal Baumann, Hannah Alexander and Emily Severson will play a big role in Farmington's fortunes in 2010-11.
Last winter the all-Missota Conference duo of Baumann and Alexander combined for 61 goals and 51 assists in 27 games. Both rank among the top 10 Tiger point scorers of all time. Severson came on strong last year and should also provide scoring punch.
"I cannot say enough about our captains," Holmes said. "They are big contributors to our success and just all-around great people. Whatever success we have will be a direct result of their ability to lead both on and off the ice."
Five other young but experienced forwards should also keep the opposition busy: sophomores Haleigh Zwart, Grace Gavin and Sydney Schoenecker and freshmen Haley Doll and Shaye Jenrich.
On the blue line, six letterwinners with varsity playing experience should go a long way toward filling Schull's skates: juniors Betsy Anderson, Molly Friedlud and Katie Burgess; sophomore Rachel Peroutky and freshmen Bria Donnelly and Rachel Welzin.
The goaltending position is in good hands with the return of junior all-Missota performer Jessica Erchul who posted a 1.90 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage last year. Ashley Corocran and Kayla Bohanon will vie for the back-up goalkeeping posiiton.
A pair of eighth-grade forwards, Chloe Batta and Emily Johnson, have looked good in the early going and freshmen Maddie Strid, Breanna Raske and Megan Stivers could also make a run at varsity ice time. Brooke Raske and Lexi Smrekar are expected to battle for playing time on the blue line.
Holmes expects his team's experience and ability to work together will overcome what will arguably be the toughest schedule in the school's history. In addition to the ever-improving competition in the Missota, the Tigers will face off against such perennial state powers as Eden Paririe, Breck, Blake, Wayzata, Lakeville North, Lakeville South and Hastings.
"We feel we have the ability to compete with these teams," Holmes said. "Hopefully this will better prepare us for post-season play."
Farmington should be the favorite to repeat in the Missota but according to Holmes, the race for Section 1 honors will be a five-team battle.
"With a lot of hard work and a little luck, we should be right there," he said.
A veteran coaching staff returns to help the Tigers, including assistants Shawn Anderson, Jason Kohlbeck, Dan Pickens and Al Jenrich.
Farmington opens the 2010-11 season Tuesday night, November 16, against Breck in Golden Valley.