23 June 2013

Boys Lacrosse: Oh so close

Goalie Matt Heinzerling: Team MVP (photo by Jim Lindquist)
The Tigers made it two straight winning seasons, finishing 8-6 in year four of the program, but the final numbers don't begin to tell the story of what might have been.

All six Farmington came by a single goal, including a 12-11 setback to state tournament qualifier Rochester Mayo and a 9-8 loss to Rochester Century in the opening round of the Section 1 tournament.

On the bright side, the Tigers overcame two one-goal losses to open the season with a three-game win streak and won five of their last six regular season contests.

Twenty-five players received varsity letters for their efforts this spring, including nine seniors: Jake Bauman, Brendon Berg, Nathan Brunelle, Cole Ryan, Matt Heinzerling, Kegan Markwardt, Alex Osborn, Alex Schrafft and Joey Todd.

Underclassmen lettering included juniors Alex Aubrecht, Dan Block, Kevin Clifton, Chris Fitzgibbons, Caleb Hakala, Mitch Hilton, Alex Kelly, Corey Rudrud, Michael Thompson and Nick Workman; sophomores Nick Buhta, Richard Halvorson, Kyle Kratz and Gavin Quinn and freshman Mitch Grengs.

Corey Rudrud: Offensive MVP (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Goalie Heinzerling who posted seven of the Farmington wins received the team's Most Valuable Player Award. Rudrud took home the Offensive MVP Award and Aubrecht won defensive "Most Valuable" honors.

Clifton won the Team Player Award and Block received the team's Hustle Award. Block and Bauman made the all-Section 1 team with Berg and Heinzerling named to the all-section section second team.

With the nail-biter of a 2013 now in his rear view mirror, Coach Paul Sorensen said he is optimistic about his team's chances in 2014 and beyond.

Dan Block: Hustle Award winner (photo by Jim Lindquist)
"Our crop of talent is becoming deeper at every position thanks to Tony Grengs and our strengthened youth program," he said. "Our players realize now that lacrosse is a 365-day sport and are putting in the required time to better their understanding of the game and sharpening their skill sets. Making the varsity next year will be the toughest it has been."

While Sorensen said he feels his young program is developing nicely, he added that the road ahead will also get rougher as Farmington prepares to move to the rugged South Suburban Conference in 2014-15.

"It's no secret that the South Suburban showcases some of the best overall lacrosse talent in the the state," he said. 'We'll need to to be prepared mentally and physically for that challenge."

But the move to the South Suburban is still a year away and Sorensen and his Tigers have a special final year in the Missota Conference ahead, one that will recognize lacrosse as an official league sport for the first time.

"Chanhassen and Chaska are splitting their teams and Northfield will be adding lacrosse," Sorensen said. "With Holy Angels that will make five conference teams. That's very exciting for us."