NEWTOWN -- With the semifinals of the Class LL girls soccer tournament seemingly destined for overtime with both sides playing conservatively, the ball found the foot of Warde's Amanda Orvis after a frantic scramble in the box.

She didn't let the opportunity pass by.

Orvis buried a shot in the back of the net with just 21.4 seconds remaining to lift sixth-seeded Warde past No. 10 Ridgefield 1-0 on Tuesday and into the state final for the first time in seven years.

"I was just at the right place at the right time," Orvis said. "I knew to get over the ball because we were having some trouble getting it in the goal. I just focused."

Warde (17-3-3) generated chances earlier in the match but hardly anything as serious as its last-ditch effort to avoid extra time. With the clock winding down, Ridgefield cleared a free kick taken by Warde's Virginie Larouche, but Claire Pullen sent the ball back into the box. Orvis won possession of the ball, took one quick touch and scored.

"It was getting really rushed," Orvis said. "It's never a good time to go into OT or (penalty kicks) because it's anyone's game. No one really dominated, so it was a good time to finish it."

Orvis did, and Warde's heading to the final for the first time since capturing the Class L title in 2007. The Mustangs will face either top-seeded Glastonbury or No. 4 Simsbury on Saturday (time and site to be announced). Ridgefield finished the year 14-5-3, with three of those losses to Warde by 1-0 scores.

"That was by far one of the tougher games we've played all year," Warde coach Tom Cunningham said. "We played against a great Ridgefield team."

Ridgefield was the better team at times in a match that went back and forth in terms of possession. Sarah Battipaglia appeared to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead with 24 minutes left after knocking in a rebound, but the goal was waved off. The referee ruled that Warde goalkeeper Mollie Kerrigan had maintained possession of the ball.

The Tigers never got the goal they needed, but coach Alex Harrison left with no regrets.

"I thought we were excellent in the second half," he said. "But again, I couldn't be any prouder of these guys. These guys were fantastic not only tonight, but in the FCIAC tournament and obviously our regular season."

The Tigers reached the semifinals of the FCIAC tournament, but lost to Warde -- the eventual co-champion with Staples -- by one goal. Harrison applauded his team, particularly the defense, which surrendered only eight goals all season.

"When I say defensively, it means everybody, from our forwards all the way back," Harrison said. "They've been fantastic for us.

"Honestly, I'd like to analyze the game or what happened at the end there, but we're going to leave with our heads held high."

Warde's been strong on defense, too, with three shutouts posted in four tournament games.

"Ridgefield had some great opportunities, but our girls played together in the back," Cunningham said.

dbonjour@ctpost.com; twitter.com/DougBonjour

Class LL semifinals

RIDGEFIELD 0 0 -- 0

WARDE 0 1 -- 1

Records: Ridgefield 14-5-3; Warde 17-3-3. Scoring: W -- Amanda Orvis (1g). Goalies: R -- Julia Middlebrook (4 saves); W -- Mollie Kerrigan (5). Shots: R -- 6; W -- 7.