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At Farmington H.S., the girl's soccer team practiced including Kali Allard who did a header.]richard tsong-taatarii/rtsong-taataarii@startribune.com

 

Senior Isabelle Ferm was on the hiring panel for the open head girls’ soccer coaching position at Farmington.

Eventual hire Tracie Randall took an immediate liking to her.

“One of her questions to me was: ‘How are you going to prepare us for college?’ ” Randall said. “I know that’s something that’s important to her. Not only was it about preparing for the high school season, but it was about taking it to the next level down the line.”

It showed the maturity of a star who anchors the Tigers’ defense in an up-and-coming program that captured a share of its first Missota Conference title one year ago in a tie with Holy Angels and Shakopee.

Ferm is not only a leader in her abilities and style of play. She’s a forceful voice, too.

“She is definitely a staple in the back,” Randall said. “She can direct traffic, and she sets kids up for success. She just has the ability to bring out the best in people. She’s gifted.”

Ferm is a star track and field runner as well, which helps her keep up with speedy attackers and shut down opposing offenses. She’s counted on heavily and in this, her final year, she really wants to get to the state tournament.

“Collectively, I think she carries a lot on her shoulders to make sure she’s the voice back there in those critical moments,” Randall said. “She’s a captain. She supports her team on and off the field. She’s just so mature beyond her years, it’s just ridiculous.”

Ferm’s stabilizing presence is particularly welcome this season. There has been a bit of a transition period for all involved. Randall, a former JV coach at Farmington, was hired in July. There is familiarity with the program and some of the players, but the captains have been instrumental in helping everyone adjust.

“The first couple weeks were a little rocky, but now we’re on the same page,” Randall said. “Our vision is the same. Our goals are the same. Game by game. Day by day.”

Kelli Elmer led the team in scoring last season. She’s since moved to center midfield and now leads the team in assists while spearheading the Tigers attack with speed and playmaking ability. Kelly Kornmann scored both of the team’s goals against Rochester Century on Tuesday and has been a consistent threat up front.

Standout goalkeeper Ashley Becker is out for a couple of weeks because of a shoulder injury, which prompted an emergency call-up of sophomore Dani Wright. Getting notified about a half-hour before her first varsity game ever, Wright responded with a strong effort in a 4-2 victory over Rochester John Marshall. She followed up her debut with the shutout against Century.

The season is going well so far. The coaching staff and players still are looking to improve in all aspects of their game, including chemistry and cohesion.

One thing’s for sure: They all have one goal in common.

“Their hope is to make it to the state tournament,” Randall said. “You always want to do better than you did the year before. That would be our better.”

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