In the 29th minute of Wednesday's District Three Class 4A quarterfinal, the command from Manheim Township goalkeeper Quinn McCarty rose above the mask-muffled cheers from the fans in the Neffsville stands as the Blue Streaks stifled an attack from visiting Conestoga Valley.
"We step together, Blue."
Throughout the boys soccer season, the Streaks' steps have taken them to a second straight outright Lancaster-Lebanon League Section One title and a second straight league championship. Wednesday, Township stepped over a section rival with a 3-0 decision and stepped into the district semifinals for the first time since 2008.
"I think it's a nice box to check off," Streaks' coach Kevin Baker said. "I also know that, even though we don't speak of it, we have many boxes we want to check off this season. We've been able to check off quite a few of them, and we're just looking to continue making a good run this year."
The next box for Township is a Saturday semifinal showdown with Dallastown — a 2-0 quarterfinal winner over Central Dauphin — at a time to be determined.
Moses Beers authored the first step toward Wednesday's victory for the Streaks (13-2), redirecting Brady Yohe's long-range free kick off the inside of the far post in the 12th minute.
"Brady Yohe can play that ball all game any game," Baker said. "His ability to play a ball from 40 or 50 yards out is just perfection every time."
The Streaks threatened to add to the lead late in the first half, but CV goalkeeper Luke Snader (12 saves) answered a series of shots to keep his team within striking distance.
Meanwhile, the Streaks' back line disrupted the attacking Buckskins (8-3), holding them without a shot on goal.
"You have to credit Township," CV coach Dave Hartlaub said. "They're good at plugging holes or getting into situations that put you under pressure. We created enough, but we never finished one off. If you finish one off, it changes the complexion of the game."
The Streaks came out firing in the second half. A screaming shot from 25 yards out by Ethan Vassilaros doubled the lead. Tyson Johns added to it with a top-shelf goal on a rush from the right side.
"We were dangerous," Baker said of the second-half attack. "For 40 minutes, we just kept it up and kept the pressure on them."
Elsewhere in Class 4A on Wednesday:
Hempfield 3, Wilson 2: At West Lawn, Nathan Schwartz had a pair of goals and Hunter Green added a third as the eighth-seeded Black Knights upset the top-seeded Bulldogs.
With the victory, Hempfield earned a trip to visit fourth-seeded Cumberland Valley, which beat No. 5 Northeastern 2-1 on Wednesday. That semifinal game will be played at a time to be announced.
Fleetwood 2, Lampeter-Strasburg 1: At Lampeter, the fourth-seeded Pioneers and fifth-seeded Tigers battled to a 0-0 halftime stalemate before Luke Kelly's goal six minutes into the second half gave the Pioneers the lead.
But after all-state pick Hunter Smith scored on a penalty kick with 12 minutes left to tie it 1-1, Connor Heck scored off a rebound with 7 and a half minutes to go to seal the win for the Tigers.