FARMINGTON — Any time the University of Maine at Farmington tried to score, and there were plenty of opportunities, St. Joseph College’s defense got in the way during a field hockey game Wednesday afternoon.

The sun was strong and the weather was warm — and that could also be said of the Monks on offense and defense.

“I think we are young team that is still coming into their own,” St. Joe’s coach Rupert Lewis. “We played a number of games, and I think that there has been great improvement from the first game we played. We have a much stronger schedule this year, and I did that purposely to get this young team ready for postseason.

“There was some things that we did very well and there are things that we could execute a little better. I think overall, as I said to the team, I thought is was a fair performance. We let some opportunities get away, but that is part of the game.

“I have one senior, one freshman and some sophomores, so we are still very young and we are not really in tune, tactically, how the game is played.”

But Lewis said the Monks could be strong contenders down the road.

As far as UMF goes, Lewis said the Beavers are always tough.

“Always a great team that comes out and competes,” Lewis said. “We are one of the few teams that play on grass. Ninety percent of our teams play on turf and we still perform. I feel it is a great program for where they (Beavers) are in the rural area.”

The Beavers (7-3), who experienced their first loss at home this season, pushed, shoved and hustled, but a goal remained elusive.

On the other side of the field, the Monks (8-5) did the same, but their incursions in front of the UMF net were far more successful.

Samantha Sylva scored the first goal on an assist from Elyse Calazzo 9:31 into the first half.

Sylva’s goal only riled up her team, and the Monks kept pressing all afternoon — particularly in the first half.

Ten minutes later, Palazzo got her turn to score her unassisted goal, giving the St. Joe’s a 2-0 lead.

But while the Monks’ defense continued to haunt the Beavers, UMF never bowed and kept St. Joe’s on its heels in the second half.

The Monks outshot the Beavers 13-11, and held the advantage in corners, 10-9. All that proves it was a close game on paper.

Monk goalie Megan Baker (seven saves) and Beavers goalie Patty Smith (five saves) were both formidable in the cage.

“We had a few chances, but they took advantage of the chances they had, and that is what you have to do in field hockey,” UMF coach Cyndi Pratt said. “You have to put it in the net. We weren’t able to do that today. That is the name of the game.

“We just have to go back to work. Keep working hard. Hopefully correct a few things and see what happens.

“I think their defense was good. Their goalie made a few really good saves and their defense played really solid and was able to stop the chances that we had.”