They have a long way to go before they reach their ultimate goal.

But the Explorers took a crucial first step.

The top-seeded Hudson girls lacrosse team cruised to a 16-8 victory over Shaker Heights in the second round of the Division I, Region 2 bracket Wednesday at Hudson Memorial Stadium.

With the win, the Explorers (12-3) are scheduled to host Avon Lake in a Region 2 quarterfinal showdown Friday.

Kendall Paltani had a huge night for Hudson. She tallied a match-high 10 points and finished with four goals and five assists.

Maggie Palumbo added four goals and Sarah Hinkle finished with two goals and two assists. Peyton Farley contributed one goal and two assists and Emily Dunne scored twice.

Also contributing for the Explorers were Jamison Cart (one goal and one assist), Hanna Killeen (one goal), Mary Castrigano (one goal) and Emily Ritenour (one assist).

Explorers’ goalie Addie Judson made 10 saves. Hudson scooped up 27 ground balls and took 22 shots.

The Red Raiders won 14 of 25 draws and forced 15 turnovers.