Rachel Manson scored a goal with 42 seconds to play in overtime to give Penn a 9-8 win over Duke, sending the Quakers to the NCAA Division I women's lacrosse championship game tomorrow night in Towson, Md.
Northwestern reached the championship game for the fourth straight year and will go for a fourth straight national title after a 16-8 win over Syracuse in last night's first game.
Manson had scored the game's first goal in the first minute, but Penn (17-1) had to battle from behind to take a lead late in the second half, and then have Duke (13-8) tie the score in the last minute of regulation, setting up the overtime.
Carolyn Davis scored five goals for the Blue Devils, bringing her season's total to 61 goals, and eventually put Duke ahead, 7-4, late in the second period.
Penn's comeback began on a goal by freshman Guilia Giordano with 15 minutes, 8 seconds to play in the second half. Goals by Melissa Lehman and Ali DeLuca tied the score at 7-7. Another goal by Lehman, her third of the game, put the Quakers ahead 8-7 with 5:40 to play.
But the Blue Devils tied the score with 1 minute to play in regulation on a goal by Lindsay Gilbride, and a shot by Manson in the last second went wide of the net.
Both teams played cautiously in the 6-minute overtime, with each team having just one shot on goal. But Lehman's went in, and Penn, seeded second, will play top-seeded Northwestern for the championship.
Giordano, of Moorestown, N.J., scored two goals for Penn, and DeLuca and Emma Spiro one each.
Northwestern (20-1) broke open a close game with nine consecutive goals in the second half. The Wildcats' Hilary Brown scored six goals, giving her 78 on the season, and Casey Donohoe, Meredith Frank and Danielle Spencer scored three goals each.
Northwestern's defense shut down the Orange's top offensive threats, holding national scoring leader (142 points) Katie Rowan without a point, and limiting goal-scoring champion Christina Dove (74 goals) to one goal. Megan Mosenson had three goals for the Orange (18-3).
Penn and Northwestern played once during the regular season, with the Quakers winning 11-7 at Franklin Field on April 29. *