Top-seeded Perry Hall used three goals by Kerri Johnson and two by JoAnne Binko to defeat Catonsville, 8-5, in a girls Class 4A/3A state semifinal lacrosse game at Catonsville Community College yesterday.
The Gators (12-1) will face defending state champion Severna Park (14-1) in Tuesday's final, also at Catonsville Community College at 5 p.m.
Trailing 5-3 at the half, Catonsville (9-3) scored three minutes into the second half on a shot by Amanda Deems and applied pressure for the next nine minutes to stay close. But Blinko's goal with 12:48 remaining proved decisive for Perry Hall.
"I started to come in one-on-one and noticed no one was picking me up," said Binko. "I tired to aim the ball high and it just went in. We're a better team in the second half, and it really helped us today."
Catonsville kept pressing, but the Gators managed two of the final three goals.
"We just couldn't get off the shots," said Catonville coach Debbie Clem. "This was a defensive game, and Jill (Altschuler) proved she is one of the best players in Baltimore County by scoring three of our five goal. We had another of our leading scorers (Jacqul Stigall) get injured and we couldn't generate any offense."
As for facing Severna Park, Perry Hall coach Wendy Samuels figures her team is in a bonus situation. "I know they'll be tough," she said, "but we've lost in the (state) semifinal the last two years and our goal was to make the finals. Our players know this is the game we've been waiting for for three years."