WEST LONG BRANCH - At the top of the crease, four Moorestown players stood shoulder to shoulder, waiting for their teammate Bridget Callahan.
Callahan curled around and her teammates split, two to the right, two to the left, creating a gap wide enough for only one. Callahan squeezed past as if slipping, just in time, through the doors of a closing elevator.
She darted to the goal, took a pass from Annie McGinley, and scored.
Callahan's first-half goal capped a decisive run by top-seeded Moorestown (23-1). The Quakers defeated fourth-seeded Cherokee, 20-5, in the semifinals of the NJSIAA Girls' Lacrosse Tournament of Champions at Monmouth University's Kessler Field.
Moorestown, the South Jersey Group III and eight-time defending tournament champion, will play Chatham (23-2), the North Jersey Group I champion, for the title at 3 p.m. Saturday at Rutgers University.
Chatham defeated West Morris Mendham, 10-9, in yesterday's first semifinal.
Yesterday, Cherokee (16-8), the South Jersey Group IV champion, must have felt as if it poked a sleeping lion. The Chiefs' Katelyn Haverstick scored two goals in the first five minutes, putting Moorestown in an unfamiliar position: behind.
In an early time-out, Moorestown coach Deanna Knobloch said she told her players she was "more angry with them than any time this season."
The Quakers then scored 10 consecutive goals. Alyssa Ogle scored three of her five goals in the run, Callahan all three of hers, and Virginia Weber two of her three. Katrina Martinelli and Winnie Call each scored one of their two.
"I think they felt the intensity of our players," Cherokee coach Kate Maloney said. "But, obviously, they were able to match it."
Cherokee's Melissa Arthur scored the first of her two goals to end the 10-0 run.
McGinley, a midfielder, scored only one goal, but had 11 assists.
"You try and come up with different ways to motivate them all the time," said Knobloch, whose program has twice as many titles (15) as the next-closest team (Shawnee, seven). "But we're playing in the finals of the Tournament of Champions. That should be all they need to psych themselves up."
Cherokee 3 2 - 5
Moorestown 11 9 - 20
C Katelyn Haverstick 2, Melissa Arthur 2, Elizabeth Fox. M Alyssa Ogle 5, Winnie Call 2, Bridget Callahan 3, Katrina Martinelli 2, Virginia Weber 3, Annie McGinley 1, Jenna Dougherty 2, Kelsey Miller 1, Sarah Weber 1.
C Lindsay Barrie 8. M Karli Tobin 2, Jennifer Linder 4.