RICHMOND — Not 10 minutes had passed in the second half and Richmond senior Meranda Martin trotted to the bench, her work for the Bobcats all but done on this damp and dark Saturday morning.

Martin, the most prolific scorer in the East/West Conference, scored the first three goals of the game and another early in the second half as the top-seeded Bobcats rolled No. 4 Rangeley 7-0 in a Class D South semifinal game before an umbrella-toting crowd.

Caitlin Kendrick scored two goals while Abby Johnson also found the back of the net.

“We took it to them,” Kendrick said. “We scored early in the game and that helped.”

Martin also had two assists.

“The cream rises to the top,” Richmond coach Troy Kendrick said, referring to his senior captain. “In the big games, we tend to lean on her a bit and she generally delivers. She didn’t disappoint (Saturday).”

Richmond (14-1-0) will host Searsport in the regional final Wednesday. The Lakers, who start two freshmen and as many eighth-graders, finish 8-5-3.

“To win eight games, I don’t think anyone expected that,” Rangeley coach Chip Smith said. “We far exceeded our expectations. Richmond is tough. Our game plan was to just slow them down and keep them scoreless in five-minute increments.”

It didn’t work.

Martin gave the Bobcats all they would need just 3:43 into the game when she collected the ball on a shot off the goal post and put a shot over out-stretched Rangeley sophomore goalie Amber Morrill (five saves).

“The ball came to me on a ricochet,” Martin said. “I wound up and kicked it as hard as I could and hoped it would go in somewhere.”

It did, and the Bobcats had the early lead.

“That’s what we wanted,” Troy Kendrick said. “We wanted to come out, work hard and get that first goal.”

Martin extended the lead when she buried a shot from right out front, again off a rebound, with 25:40 left in the half.

“I felt the ball on my foot and I just booted it in,” she said.

Martin then made it 3-0 on a well-executed corner kick from Destiny Anair.

“The ball came right to me and I got my head on it,” Martin said. “Anytime we have a corner, I expect to get my head on it. I expect it every time. It was a great corner.”

It stayed 3-0 until Johnson ripped a shot from the top of the box past Morrill with 1:06 remaining in the half.

Richmond stayed on the attack in the second half, scoring three goals — two from Caitlin Kendrick — in the opening four minutes.

“Both came from the top of the box,” she said. “They felt good.”

Added Martin, whose team had a bye into the semifinals and had been idle since the regular season finale Oct. 18: “We played well. We had been off for awhile so it was good to get back at it.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5618

[email protected]

Twitter: @billstewartMTM


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