The clock hit zero, the tension released, and every member of Moorestown's girls' lacrosse team charged the center of the field in celebration.

By the time the Quakers walked off the field moments later, the team looked almost underwhelmed.

The Quakers were 8-5 winners over Shawnee at home Thursday in the South Jersey Group 3 championship game.

The win was redemption for Moorestown after it lost the South Jersey title to Shawnee last year, a defeat that snapped the Quakers' 228-game winning streak against New Jersey teams. The victory was the program's biggest since the 2009 Tournament of Champions title game - and the Quakers were the first to concede that.

But almost as quickly as the celebration in the middle of the field ended, the players' minds shifted to their next game.

That was also the theme of coach Deanna Knobloch's postgame comments.

Just like Moorestown teams before them, these Quakers simply aren't satisfied with a South Jersey championship.

"We remembered [losing to Shawnee] last year," said junior Steph Toy, who paced Moorestown with four goals and two assists. "But we just wanted to get past that and make our own history this year.

"This was redemption for us. But this is not the game that we wanted to get to. This is just a stepping-stone for the Tournament of Champions."

The Quakers will play Thursday against Mendham, one of the top-ranked teams in the state, for the state Group 3 championship. Moorestown (20-3) lost to Mendham in a scrimmage before the season.

"We can't think about that scrimmage. It was only a scrimmage," Moorestown goalie Bridget Bianco said. "I'm sure Mendham has grown as a team just as much as we have."

After playing from behind for most of the first half, the Quakers found another gear after halftime.

Bianco recorded six of her 12 saves in the second half. She helped hold Shawnee (16-4) scoreless for the final 20 minutes, 32 seconds of the game, after Shawnee's Nicole Troost had weaved through traffic in front of the net and scored, tying the game at 5.

After that, Moorestown was rarely without possession. The Quakers were dominant on loose balls throughout the game, particularly late in the second half when they scored three unanswered goals in the final nine minutes.

"Our backs were against the wall in the first half," Knobloch said. "But we played a smart second half. We played possession. We capitalized on our opportunities. . . . I'm really happy with the team. I'm really happy with the way they played."

Marina Mestres gave Shawnee an early lead, netting a free-position shot just less than two minutes into the game.

The teams traded goals for much of the half. But thanks to a few missed opportunities and the strong play of Renegades goalie Alex Zaugra, Moorestown didn't hold its first lead until Toy netted a goal with 29 seconds left in the half.

"We worked hard today," Shawnee coach Janae Zechman said. "But Moorestown is a great team, and this is always a good matchup."

Shawnee 4 1 - 5

Moorestown 5 3 - 8

Goals: S-Marina Mestres, Kristin Kocher, Karlee Dean, Keri White, Nicole Troost; M-Steph Toy 3, Nikki McMonagle 2, Nikki Shapiro, Carli Taglienti, Rachel Emerson.

Saves: S-Alex Zaugra 10; M-Bridget Bianco 12.

Contact Chris Melchiorre at rallysports@phillynews.com.