A seldom-used play might find its way to the front of the Lakeville North boys lacrosse playbook.
The play produced senior midfielder Nathan Long's clinching goal with 1:34 remaining in overtime of a 9-8 victory over Shakopee in Thursday's boys lacrosse state tournament semifinal played at White Bear Lake High School.
"It was a big goal," said Long, who scored just his eighth goal all season. "My hands were free, and I saw the ball hit the net. It was fun. I'm excited."
The No. 2 seed Panthers (16-2) advance to the championship game for the first time since finishing as runner-up in 2016. They play at 6 p.m. Saturday at Stillwater High School.
A Linus Toward goal put the No. 3 seed Sabers ahead 8-7 with 2:35 remaining in regulation. But the Panthers' Quinn Power, the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year, tied the game nine seconds later to force overtime.
State tournament newcomer Shakopee (14-4) beat the Panthers 15-6 on May 16. Lakeville North played with a touch of desperation to win the rematch.
"The seniors knew this could be our last chance," Long said.
While proud of his team's effort, coach Sean Pollock wasn't ready for memorializing the Sabers' inaugural run.
"Because you don't know when the next one's going to be," Pollock said. "I've been here a decade and we're finally here. And when you're here you want to get to the final. We came up one shot shy of that."