It wasn't until Alex Poplawski controlled the ball with eight seconds remaining that she said she finally felt comfortable.
Not that you could tell from the way the senior midfielder for the Springfield (Delco) girls' lacrosse team had been playing all afternoon.
Poplawski netted six goals as the Cougars beat Boyertown in a District 1 semifinal Tuesday at West Chester Henderson, 13-12, to advance to the championship game.
Dominating the offensive end for Springfield, Poplawski looked every bit as comfortable eight minutes into the contest as she did when she scored her last goal with 12 minutes remaining.
"I don't think there ever was a point except for the last eight seconds when I had the ball - I think that was the only time when I knew we had it," she said.
The reason for the discomfort was a thrilling back-and-forth contest, in which each team traded controlling the draw, possession, and goals.
With six ties in the first 25 minutes of play, neither squad gained much momentum, as the most either led by was a goal.
While the Cougars (19-3) set up their offensive sets and kept possession for significant periods of time before scoring, the Bears (20-3) used quick moves to get around defenders, relying on a fast transition game.
"They had a lot of fast breaks, so the midfield had to get back - everyone had to get back quicker," Poplawski said.
"They came down and shot as fast as they could," Cougars goalie Courtney O'Connell said. "That was a struggle for me, at least."
But O'Connell rose to the challenge, making 15 saves, several of them late in the game, including one that hit off her stick and ricocheted off one of the pipes.
Springfield will face Central League foe Harriton at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at West Chester East for the District 1 championship. The Bears will play Radnor in the first game of the doubleheader at East, at 5:45, for third place.
Winners of eight straight, the Cougars defeated Harriton during the regular season.
Boyertown 6 6 – 12
Springfield (Delco) 7 6 – 13
Goals: B-Kaitlin Dehaven 2, Alex O'Herrick 4, Rachel Engler 4, Haley Wentzel 2; S-Taylor De Bernardi 3, Kate Ryan 2, Alex Poplawski 6, Emily Santana 2.
Saves: B-Katie Buckwalter 8; S-Courtney O'Connell 15.