01 June 2014

13 in a row and a trip to the finals

Ashley Steffes 7 goals, assist (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Fifth-ranked Farmington (14-1) won its 13th game in a row and earned its first-ever trip to the section finals with a dominant 16-6 semifinal win over Owatonna Friday night at Tiger Stadium.

The high-flying Tigers dominated the play early on against the Huskies but had a little trouble putting the ball in the net. Gradually the scoring gates opened and by intermission the section's top seed was sitting on a 7-2 lead.

"We started the game with a lot of possession time, but we couldn’t score right away," coach Dan Pickens sad. "But it was obvious early that we had a winning attitude and it was going to take a lot to slow us down.

"We also knew they had two girls that score most of their goals and we were going to have to shut them down. Our defense and (goalie) Maddie Kohlbeck played with attitude..."

On offense Ashley Steffes, Rachael Welzin and Shelby Klotz combined to score 14 of the Farmington goals. Steffes had a huge night, scoring seven goals and assisting on one.

Maddie Kohlbeck 14 saves (photo by Jim Lindquist)
"The biggest difference in the game was our team offense," Pickens said. "It was the best it's been all year...Ashley (Steffes) is a very underrated player who really stepped up when they keyed on Rachael (Welzin) and Shelby (Klotz)..."

Welzin tallied four goals and two assists and leading season goal scorer Shelby Klotz (40) chipped in with a hat trick. Kaeli Halverson and Amanda Davenport also scored for the Missota Conference champions. Becky Genzler didn't score a goal but chimed in with five assists.

Kohlbeck, a finalist for state Goalie of the Year honors, faced 20 shots and finished with 14 saves.

The semifinal victory set up a rematch with six-ranked Lakeville South Tuesday night at Tiger Stadium for the Section 1 title and a berth in the state tournament scheduled for Chanhassen the following week.

The Cougars scored a goal in the game's final 10 seconds to hand Farmington its only loss in the second game of the regular season.

"We are ready." Pickens said. " No matter what happens, we know it is going to be a fast-paced, well-played lacrosse game."