CUMBERLAND — From the start of the season, the Greely High girls’ lacrosse team felt it had the ability to get to the state championship game for the first time since 2000.

After their 11-2 quarterfinal win against No. 7 Brunswick (9-5) on Saturday, the second-seeded Rangers are one step closer.

“I know it’s a team goal, so we’re all working toward the same thing. We’re hoping to make it to Fitzpatrick (Stadium),” said Greely senior tri-captain Elsa Dean-Muncie. “Usually we lose in the semifinals, so it means a lot to have the potential to have another shot at it.”

Unlike in 2018 and 2019, Greely (11-3) will get to host the semifinal on its natural grass field – and won’t be playing Cape Elizabeth (which went on to win the title both years). This time, the Rangers will host No. 3 Messalonskee on Wednesday.

“Finishing No. 2 (in the Heal point standings), we haven’t done that in a long time, and they’ve earned it,” said Greely Coach Becca Koelker, who played on the 2000 runner-up team.

Dean-Muncie led the Greely attack with five goals and two assists. Lauren Dennen scored three times, and Samantha Goldburg, Abby Taylor and Carley Ferentz each scored once.

Already in command with a 4-0 lead, Greely put the game away with six goals in the final 7:31 of the first half.

Dennen, a sophomore, started the surge with three consecutive free-position goals. The first and third were bounced past Brunswick keeper Alamea McCarthy (five saves). The middle goal was into the top right corner of the net.

“I was just looking for the drive and then looking for the defense to collapse, and that usually leads to those free positions,” Dennen said. “I kind of mix (the shots) up a little bit.”

Dean-Muncie figured in the next three goals, assisting on Ferentz’s goal and two of her own.

During the regular season, Greely beat Brunswick 19-1. At halftime, it looked like a similar result was in the works. Instead, Brunswick senior captain Emily Cloutier won the draw cleanly and scored 11 seconds into the half. From that point, the Dragons’ zone defense caused repeated turnovers and a handful of misfired shots. Only Brunswick’s Elizabeth Putnam and Dean-Muncie (her fifth goal) scored the rest of the half.

“They gave every last ounce of effort and drive to play this game today,” said Brunswick’s first-year coach, EmaLeigh Aschbrenner. “I really couldn’t be prouder of that second half.”

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