Senior defenseman James Woody presented his teammates with a pair of scoring opportunities in the last three and a half minutes of the game.
Mark Collier finished the second one with 2:23 left to give No. 15-ranked Arundel a thrilling 11-10 victory over Walt Whitman in yesterday's Class 4A-3A boys lacrosse state semifinal at Annapolis.
Woody and Lou Verde anchored the Wildcats' defense with their checking and hustle, especially the last five minutes when they kept the Vikings senior midfielder Andrew Corno from scoring.
Corno, who is bound for Georgetown University, had five goals and two assists. He scored in every period, and his only goal in the fourth tied the score at 9-9 with 7:09 left. Graham O'Brien, a sophomore midfielder who had four goals and two assists, scored the Vikings' last goal to again tie the score, 10-10, with 5:11 left.
"We didn't execute fundamentals, but Woody and Verde got key checks at the end," said Arundel coach Clint Gosnell.
Collier and fellow senior attackman Brad Korvin had four goals and two assists each for Arundel. That raised their collective career point totals to 105 and 96, respectively, topping the school record of 84 points by John Hawley, The Sun's County Player of the Year in 1983.
Senior midfielder Chase Gompers chipped in with two goals, and Chuck Greenlee's lone goal gave the Wildcats a 9-8 lead three minutes into the final period.
Involved in an up-tempo game with no more than two goals ever separating the teams, Arundel advanced to its first state final since 1995, when the Wildcats won the 4A state title.
The Wildcats will meet No. 8 Dulaney (13-3), a 9-7 victor over No. 9 C. Milton Wright (15-3) on Friday, at UMBC on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Woody first intercepted a long clear by the Vikings (14-2) that the Wildcats (15-4) failed to cash in with just over three minutes left.
After scooping up a ground ball, Woody hooked up with Collier, who charged at Whitman goalie Brendan Franks (10 saves) with a stutter step before landing an over-the shoulder shot into the net.
The Wildcats made Collier's fourth goal of the game stand up as they passed the ball to run out around the final 60 seconds.
Goals: A - Korvin 4, Collier 4, Gompers 2, Greenlee; WW - Corno 5, O'Brien 4, Fields. Assists: A - Collier 2, Gompers, Korvin 2; WW - O'Brien 2, Corno 2. Saves: A - Rennie 16; WW - Franks 10. Half: 5-5.