The Manchester Essex girls lacrosse team was firing on all cylinders in Tuesday’s Division 2 North First Round meeting with Lowell Catholic.

After a short feeling out period to start, the fourth-seeded Hornets exploded for six goals in less than four minutes en route to a 15-2 win over the No. 13 seed.

“Our kids are really trusting each other right now and anticipating the next move and where their teammates are going to be,” head coach Nan Gorton said. “I thought everybody played well today. We really moved the ball well to get those quality chances.”

The Hornets broke the ice at 5:24 of the first half on a goal from Abby Lantz, who had four goals and three assists on the game, and that started an onslaught where the Hornets started to dominate in every facet of the game.

Nine minutes into the first half, Manchester Essex (13-5) had the lead up to 6-0 on four goals from Lantz and two more from Lily Athanas, who also finished with four goals on the day to go along with an assist.

Manchester Essex was not only dominating on the offensive end of the field, it won 12 of 18 draw controls, smothered Lowell Catholic defensively, outshooting the visitors 22-10 and goalie Bella Pomeroy stopped eight of the 10 shots she faced.

“We were just really aggressive but at the same time under control,” Gorton said. “They played a style we are familiar with so we really did a good job of anticipating. It was a full team effort.”

After Skylar Walsh got Lowell Catholic on the board in the middle of the first half, Manchester Essex answered with goals from Grace Gist, Wrede Charlton and Athanas to take a 9-1 lead into the half.

The Hornets came out and scored the first six goals of the second half in just seven minutes to get the lead up to 15-1. Bridget Twombly and Gianna Huet scored twice in the second half flurry with Brigid Edgerton and Athanas also finding the back of the net.

Lowell Catholic capped off the scoring with a goal in the final minute.

With the win, the Hornets will now host the Division 2 North Quarterfinals on Thursday against No. 12 Winthrop (time TBA), which knocked off No. 5 St. Mary’s in its first round game by a score of 12-10. 

Thursday’s winner will advance to the sectional semifinals against the winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal contest between No. 1 Ipswich and No. 8 Austin Prep.

“We need to keep playing like we did today,” Gorton said.

“In this sport, games can turn in a hurry. We are taking every opponent seriously and taking it one game at a time.”