Five minutes ticked by between the fourth-quarter buzzer and the whistle to start overtime in the girls lacrosse state semifinal between Prior Lake and Benilde-St. Margaret's. Lakers junior Abby Grove ended the game 23 seconds later.

Grove scored the game-tying goal with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter, then the game-winning goal in overtime to help the Lakers (17-1) beat the defending state champion 11-10 on Thursday at Eden Prairie High School. Prior Lake returns to Saturday's state final after the 2019 and 2021 champions lost at sectionals and missed out on the state tournament last year.

"I didn't even know if [the goal] went in or not, but tears just started flowing," Grove said. The All-Metro-team Rutgers commit only played "like three minutes total" in 2021′s state championship as an eighth-grader. "After those losses, those really big heartbreaks, we know what we're fighting for, and it's so special."

Much of the Lakers' success came immediately after breaking a team huddle — coming out of a timeout or starting a new quarter and scoring within the minute. Prior Lake head coach Heather Pierson described it as "a game of waves."

Across six lead changes, Prior Lake senior midfielder Sadie Chappuis scored three goals, and the Lakers defense held the Red Knights (15-2) to five goals below their season average.

Prior Lake's championship ticket pits them against top-ranked Lakeville South. The Cougars extended their undefeated season (18-0) by beating Stillwater Area 17-8 in Thursday's second semifinal.

This season's All-Metro Player of the Year, senior midfielder Tori Tschida, had four goals and six assists for the Cougars. Junior attacker Ella Mills also netted four goals, and senior midfielder Katie Grubbs scored a hat trick.

"I don't really have to tell them where (the ball) is going," Tschida said about her teammates, especially fellow captains Grubbs and Sivanna O'Brien. They've been playing together in the midfield since fourth grade. "I throw things to them I wouldn't throw to anyone else."

The Cougars won 2022′s state title but had last year's hopes of an undefeated season dashed by Benilde-St. Margaret's during semifinals.

Prior Lake's only loss of this season came to Lakeville South in April, 10-3. Prior Lake's 2021 state title win was over Lakeville South, a 15-7 win.