The Upper Arlington High School boys lacrosse team edged Thomas Worthington 9-8 on Saturday to advance to a state semifinal and keep alive its quest for reaching the final for the 17th time.

The Upper Arlington High School boys lacrosse team edged Thomas Worthington 9-8 on Saturday to advance to a state semifinal and keep alive its quest for reaching the final for the 17th time.

UA, which has won the last five state titles, improved to 17-2 and will play host to Cincinnati St. Xavier or Cincinnati Sycamore on Tuesday. Thomas finished 17-3.

UA trailed 4-1 at the half and 7-5 after three quarters. UA's Kyle Cassidy scored with 2 minutes, 43 remaining and UA handled several Thomas shots on goal after that.

Luke Treece led the Bears with three goals and Spencer Parsons had two. For Thomas, Trevon Cleveland had two goals and an assist and Kyle Shrader had two goals.

It was UA's second close game in the postseason, with the other a 10-9 overtime win over Dublin Coffman three days earlier.

"They are a good thing for us," midfielder Alex Drake, who had one goal and one assist, said of the close games. "It's kind of a reality-check. We have to come out and play all of the game every game. It can't just be a second-half thing."

"This teaches the guys to have confidence in themselves," coach Ted Wolford said. "They know what they can do and they get the job done in the fourth quarter."

Thomas still hasn't beaten the Bears since a 12-7 decision in the state final in 1996.

"This game was our season," Shrader said. "We came out strong in the first half and did what we were supposed. Lacrosse is a game of runs and they had a run in the fourth quarter."

"We felt like we had it for a while but this game is four quarters," Thomas coach Steve Kraus said. "But I'm really proud of these guys. It has been a great season."