BOSTON, Mass. -- Sophomore midfielder Mara Balboni scored a school record eight goals to lead the University of Maine at Farmington women's lacrosse team to a 15-12 win over Wheelock College, Sunday afternoon at Winsor Field.
Balboni's eight scores eclipses the previous UMaine-Farmington (2-1) single game record of six goals, recorded six times and last achieved by sophomore Ayla Allen on April 13, 2013, against Thomas College. Her eight points also matches the UMF record for most points in a single game shared by Allen and senior Maddi Kadnar.
Wheelock (0-3) got on the board first with a goal just 1:52 into the contest, but Balboni knotted the game at 1-1 with a goal barely two-and-a-half minutes later.
Balboni's first marker of the game was the first in a seven-goal run by the Beavers, with freshman midfielder Jaclyn Langevin scoring three times during the surge. Balboni added a second goal during the run, while sophomore Ayla Allen and rookie Haley Binette each scored once.
The Wildcats finally broke the Beavers' run with their second goal of the game at the 15:48 mark of the opening half, on a score by Molly Centore.
Balboni added her third score of the half with an unassisted tally at the 8:34 mark, and Wheelock's Centore and Katie Gavin each netted a goal to give the Beavers an 8-4 lead at the intermission.
After a scoreless first five minutes of the second half, Gavin pulled the Wildcats to within three of the Beavers with a free position goal with 24:02 showing on the clock.
However Balboni responded with four straight goals of three minutes – three of them unassisted and one on a free position attempt – to extend the UMaine-Farmington lead to 12-5. Kadnar added a free position goal just 35 seconds later, and the Beavers seemed to have a comfortable 13-5 lead with 15:54 left in the game.
Wheelock refused to go quietly, and the Wildcats responded with a five-goal run of their own to cut the margin to 13-10 by the 9:09 mark of the half. Centore scored twice during the Wheelock surge, while Gavin, Christina Cubera, and Valerie Ferrante added single markers.
Balboni capped her scoring ledger with her eighth goal of the day with 7:08 to play, giving the Beavers a 14-10 lead, while Allen added a late goal with 2:44 showing on the clock. Wheelock added two scores in the final two minutes to keep things interesting, but the Beavers held off the Wildcats' final rally to secure the win.
In addition to Balboni's eight goals, Langevin finished the game with three goals and Allen with two. Kadnar and Binette each chalked up single goals on the day.
UMaine-Farmington outshot Wheelock, 48-28, and committed just 13 turnovers to the Wildcats' 17. Wheelock did have a slim 18-16 advantage in ground balls.
Senior Hannah Goodenow recorded 11 saves over her 60 minutes in the UMaine-Farmington goal, while Wheelock's Meghan Lewis charted 26 saves in the loss.
UMaine-Farmington's next contest will be on Wednesday, March 26, when it travels to Gorham, Maine, to face the University of Southern Maine in a non-conference tilt. Game time is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.