Midfielder Wendy Beer scored 1:25 into sudden-death overtime to lift second-ranked Maryland over third-ranked Penn State, 12-11, in a NCAA women's lacrosse semifinal game yesterday at Byrd Stadium.

Beer beat goalie Cheri McMonagle from about five feet in front of the crease when she converted a centering pass from Judy Turnbaugh.

"I cut to the middle and I guess I got open," said Beer, whose team advances to next Sunday's final in Philadelphia against the winner of today's Temple-New Hampshire game. Temple was the only team to defeat Maryland (15-1) during the regular season. The Nittany Lions, who were led by Marsha Florio's five goals and Tracey Neave's three, finish at 14-4.

Penn State scored the last four goals to tie the game in regulation after Anysia Fedec had given the Terrapins an 11-7 lead on her fifth goal with 9:06 remaining. Beth Stokes scored unassisted for the Nittany Lions with 24 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

The teams were scoreless through two three-minute overtime periods. "No doubt about it," Maryland Coach Sue Tyler said. "We had a four-goal lead and we lost our cool."

In the first half, Maryland twice led by three goals but by halftime, the game was tied at 5.

Fedec's two scores and a goal by Kay Rufino (two goals, one assist) gave Maryland a 3-0 lead after 3:02. Penn State's Ann Marie Vesco and Maryland's Karen Trudel each scored, making it 4-1. Neave's goal with 19:48 remaining in the first half brought the Nittany Lions to within 4-2.

Florio, Penn State's leading scorer with 74 goals and 30 assists, then scored three straight to put the visitors ahead, 5-4. After Florio's first goal, Tyler replaced goalie Mary Bernard with freshman Kim Chorosiewski.

"Mary wasn't concentrating," Tyler said. "I wanted her to sit out and watch their shots for a while." Florio beat Chorosiewski twice, but the goalie made four saves before the end of the half. "Kim got hot," Tyler said. "I didn't want to take out a hot goalie."

Laura Beal's unassisted goal with 1:01 left in the half gave Maryland a tie.

"I think there was a big change in momentum at the end of the first half," said Fedec, who gave Maryland a 6-5 lead 41 seconds into the second half. "I don't think it was a let down."