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Gettysburg soccer powers way to third title try

Once again, the Gettysburg's boys soccer team will play for a district championship.

The Warriors earned a place in their third-straight title game by beating Fleetwood, 4-0, Monday in the District 3 Class 3A semifinals at Earl Boltz Stadium in Lebanon.

Gettysburg (20-2), which lost to Fleetwood in 2014 and Lancaster Mennonite last year, will look for a better result when it faces Lower Dauphin (23-0) at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Hershey Park Stadium. The Falcons defeated Daniel Boone, 5-0, to their earn their spot.

"We know that they're undefeated and that they're an excellent team," Gettysburg senior Matt Yingling said. "We'll have to play very well to give ourselves a chance to win."

Yingling more than did his part for the Warriors as he bagged a hat trick that pushed his season total to 26 goals. He also tied 1996 grad Mike Campbell for second on the school's career goal list with 67.

The school record is held by 2012 grad Zach Tarbox with 93.

Monday's match featured multiple chances in the first half for both sides, but Gettysburg keeper Yanni Tassou and Fleetwood's Kevin Keirstead were tough to solve.

Yingling broke through only 16 seconds before intermission, rocketing a shot from 25 yards out on the right flank that beat Keirstead to the left side. Yingling was assisted by Aidan Reever, who had stolen an errant clear attempt.

Fleetwood (16-5-1) had a good chance to tie midway through the second half, but Tassou denied Hector Buchter with 21:32 to play.

While Cade Wilhelm gave the Warriors some breathing room by scoring at the 15:55 mark of the second half, Yingling put things out of reach — scoring a pair of goals just 84 seconds apart. The first one, in particular, was quite nifty as he handled the ball on the baseline to the left of the net and slipped a tough angle shot into the right side.

"I was surprised to get as many good looks as I did tonight," Yingling said. "It seemed like Cade and I were the only ones that could get any shots off, so I just wanted to get as many shots at the goal as I could."

Gettysburg played without senior center back Alex Cowden, who was red carded in the Warriors' quarterfinal win over Garden Spot and thus had to sit out the semi-final match. Jadan Santoyo started in his place, though Santoyo played right back and freshman Logan Carbaugh shifted from right back to center back.

"Peter (Hsu) and Jadan did a great job tonight against a pair of really good wingers," senior defender Kellen Fees said. "We wanted to get a win so that Alex could play in another district game."

This was Gettysburg's 10th shutout this fall, including four in six postseason matches.

"We expected a very tight match tonight," said Gettysburg co-coach Ian Hancock. "But a big difference for us is that we don't feel the pressure on us like we did last year."

The Warriors entered last year's district title match undefeated. This time, opponent Lower Dauphin is the one without a loss.

"Kellen, Matt and Drew (Wivell) play club ball with most of Lower Dauphin's team," Hancock said. "So we know how good they are and we have an idea of what they like to do. At least we have that going for us."