By midway through the second half, the only suspense remaining hinged on whether North Shore could match the margin of victory from the semifinal that preceded its own.

No . . . and the Vikings couldn't care less.

The two-time defending Nassau Class C champs are going back to the final. Tess Korten had three goals and two assists as No. 2 North Shore impressed in its 12-7 girls lacrosse win over No. 3 Locust Valley on Thursday night.

The win sets up a rematch of last year's final with archrival Cold Spring Harbor, which wrapped up a 13-0 semifinal win shortly before North Shore took the field at Adelphi.

"We saw that they had a big win, but we're only concerned about ourselves and what we can do," midfielder Meg Brennan said. "We know we can do well when we're focused and playing our style."

The Vikings accrued some style points when they took a 10-1 lead with 15:12 left. Brennan took a flip from Korten and, from about 4 yards, scored her second goal in just over two minutes.

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"We knew against them we couldn't afford many mistakes and we'd have to force turnovers and capitalize," said Korten, who had three ground balls. "We did that really well early on."

Bairre Reilly (four goals) scored to pull Locust Valley within 2-1 four minutes in, but the Vikings responded with two quick man-up goals.

Tara Feehan and Carly Comitino each scored twice and Alexis Greene made eight saves for North Shore (8-8).

For the better part of 40 minutes, the Vikings stifled a potent Locust Valley offense and moved the ball in transition off the draw controls. The Falcons rallied in the waning minutes, but North Shore's lead, by then, was insurmountable.

Taylor Bleistein, Julia Palermo and Kameron Palagonia each had a goal and Cassandra Vnook made 10 saves for Locust Valley (9-7).

"We had [Brennan] face-guarding Reilly and we kept an eye on all the cutters and really tried to keep Bleistein away from the crease," said defender Lauren Cristodero, who forced two turnovers. "All-around, we did a good job."

Now it's on to the title game, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Five of North Shore's last six games against CSH have been decided by a goal, including last season's overtime thriller in the final.

"It's always a tough, competitive game with them," Brennan said. "We expect the same."

And they won't care much about the margin in that one, either.