UMF’s Rhi Jackson battles with Maine Maritime’s Tori Cooper (18) for the ball during a North Atlantic Conference quarterfinal lacrosse game in Farmington on Friday.
FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington’s loud-and-clear message came in the deafening roar of a flurry of first-half goals.
The Beavers reeled off six unanswered goals in the first 11 minutes of a North Atlantic Conference lacrosse quarterfinal game and made quick work of Maine Maritime with a 15-4 victory Friday.
For the first time in the program’s history, UMF is heading to the semifinals where it will play at New England College on Sunday at 2 p.m.
“Our girls came out on fire,” UMF lacrosse coach Beth Lebel said. “But MMA, we played them earlier in the season and we knew that wasn’t their best game and we knew that they were going to be better than we saw — and they definitely were today.
“They were better defensively, better on attack. They were a lot more patient. But our girls came out with a bang. I am really proud how they did that — send a message early. It was good.
“Their energy was good. They were overall just fantastic. I can give them all the tools, but it is up to them to use them and they used them all today. I can’t ask for more.”
Senior Rhi Jackson and junior Sierra Gilley each scored four goals in the first half and Jaclyn Langevin scored two goals while Carly Raymond (three assists) scored one to help the Beavers’ build a 12-2 halftime lead. Jackson piled up seven goals for the day. and was a familiar face in front of the Mariners’ net for most of the day.
“I think we were really, really pumped as a team to win this game,” Jackson said. “Honestly, I just really like lacrosse. I am just really excited.
“That’s how it usually works for me. I just kind of see it (scoring) and kind of run. Today, they (Mariners) had a lot better game than the last time we played them, and they came out to fight and compete with us and I just think we came out as the better team today.”
The Mariners got goals from Tori Cooper and Briana Obshatkin during the first-half onslaught.
Not much changed in the second half, either. Jackson went on another scoring binge and Erica Letellier added a goal. UMF goalie Samantha Bickford made seven saves for the victory.
The Mariners wouldn’t quit even though the Beavers were well ahead in the game. Madison Barry scored and Obshatkin added her second goal.
“They are a good team. That’s why they are number three,” Maine Maritime coach Will Mraz said. “They came out hard and played hard and they came right at us.”
But the Mariners still wouldn’t quit in the second half.
“The girls didn’t,” Mraz added. “That’s been kind of us during the season. You know we have got a single sub on the sidelines and we have a younger team. It’s been about us just staying in the game.”
The University of Maine at Farmington’s Alaina Shorey fights with Maine Maritime’s Julie Dillon (7) and Morgan Maxwell (17) for the ball during a North Atlantic Conference quarterfinal lacrosse game in Farmington on Friday.
UMF’s Ri Jackson (6) scores one of her seven goals against Mariners goalie Sierra James (25) as the Beavers’ Carly Raymond (7) watches the actionduring a North Atlantic Conference quarterfinal lacrosse game in Farmington on Friday.
Maine Maritime’s Christina Wilson (1) goes head to head against Nickyia Lovely (17) during a North Atlantic Conference quarterfinal lacrosse game in Farmington on Friday.