In a heated battle that saw snow flurries throughout the match, Central Arkansas was able to overcome a one-goal deficit on two occasions to head to overtime for the fourth time in their last four Missouri Valley Conference Tournament matches.
When two extra periods didn't settle things, UCA found itself in a penalty shootout for the third time in those matches, and again battled back, edging out Missouri State 5-4 to advance to the MVC title game for the second year in a row.
The game saw a battle of possession during the beginning in which both teams attempted to control the pace of the game.
Missouri State struck first in the 19th minute on a set piece as Ben Stroud came streaking in on a backpost run, heading home past Central Arkansas keeper Marc Olsen and giving MSU a 1-0 lead.
The maroon Bears were awarded a penalty kick in the 30th minute and a chance to double their lead, but Olsen proved himself up to the task, making a crucial save and keeping the score at 1-0.
Central Arkansas got on the board right before halftime as Niklas Brodacki would step up and bury his chance from the penalty spot with just over a minute remaining in the first half and the Bears would go in level at halftime.
The goal was the 38th of his career, tying him for second-most in program history and moving him into ninth place in MVC history.
Missouri State struck again in the 57th minute after Stuart Wilkin saw his left footed volley from the top of the 18-yard box fly into the bottom right corner of Olsen's net, putting Missouri State up 2-1.
Central Arkansas again fought back, however, as Daltyn Knutson stepped up on a free kick opportunity just outside the penalty area.
Knutson's strike ricocheted off of the crossbar before finding its way into the back of the net on what was a spectacular free kick strike and the Bears drew level again at 2-2 in the 65th minute.
With neither side able to find the game-winner in the final 25 minutes, the match was sent to extra time, where MSU and UCA both found chances, but were unable to put anything away.
In what has become a November tradition for Central Arkansas, the match went to a shootout, with Knutson stepping up and delivering first for the Bears.
Following a make from Jake Buckle for MSU, Vicent Abaso saw a rocket bounce the wrong way off the crossbar, opening the door for Josh Dolling, who put Missouri State ahead 2-1 after two kicks for each side.
With the pressure increasing, Jake Bates and Niklas Sandquist each came through for Central Arkansas, while Connor Ingram held the lead for Missouri State.
After Sandquist finished to keep Central Arkansas alive in the fourth round, Wilkin missed wide right, giving the purple Bears hope.
Brodacki stepped to the spot for the second time in the match and delivered again, putting the pressure on Ben Stroud, who appeared unfazed, hammering his attempt home to send it to sudden death.
After Soren Jensen stepped up for UCA and cooly deposited the ball in the back of the net to again put the pressure on MSU, Kyle Heibert fired a rocket just inside the left post in an attempt to keep the match going.
Olsen delivered another huge save, laying out to push the ball wide and sending Central Arkansas to the finals.
UCA coach Ross Duncan could not have been more thrilled about his team's effort.
"I couldn't be more proud of this group, Missouri State is the one team in the country you don't want to go down to because they're really hard to break down, but we did it twice," Duncan said.
"Right now it's all about recovery, we'll be ready and I'm looking forward to Sunday."
Kickoff for Sunday's match is scheduled for 1 p.m.
The match will be streamed on ESPN+, with live stats available at https://gopurpleaces.com/sidearmstats/msoc/summary.