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Yates leads Washington Twp. boys' soccer past Shawnee

The junior striker scored two goals as the Minutemen advanced to the South Jersey Group 4 finals.

Washington Township’s Will McCusker and Shawnee’s Devin Ribeiro battle for the ball during Tuesday’s S.J. 4 semifinals.
Washington Township’s Will McCusker and Shawnee’s Devin Ribeiro battle for the ball during Tuesday’s S.J. 4 semifinals.Read moreAvi Steinhardt/For the Inquirer

Chad Yates said the playing conditions were "terrible."

He wasn't complaining.

Yates, a junior striker, looked comfortable in the cold rain, scoring a pair of goals to help Washington Township to a 3-1
victory over Shawnee on Tuesday in the semifinals of the South Jersey Group 4 boys' tournament.

Yates scored off a nice feed from Will McCusker in the game's first two minutes and added a penalty kick as second-seeded
Washington Township (20-2-1) won its 13th game in a row and advanced to the sectional title game for the sixth season in a

Washington Township, which has won three South Jersey titles in a row and four of the last five, will host Rancocas Valley
in the sectional championship game on Friday.

Rancocas Valley, the No. 4 seed, beat eighth-seeded Atlantic City, 2-1, in overtime in Tuesday's other semifinals.

"He's a goal-scorer," Washington Township coach Shane Snyder said of Yates. "Goals can be hard to come by in soccer. We
moved him up top around the eighth game of the season, and he started scoring and took off from there."

Junior Brett Guetens scored Washington Township's third goal on a penalty kick in the second half.

Senior Devin Ribeiro scored for third-seeded Shawnee (13-4-3), which went 1-1-1 in three games against Olympic Conference
American Division rival Washington Township this season.

"It's a tough way to lose with a pair of PKs," Shawnee coach Ryan Franks said. "But Washington Township is a great team, and
they played well and we wish them the best."

Yates got the Minutemen on the board with a blast into the net with 38 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the first half.

"That first goal is so important," Yates said. "It sets the tone."

Yates added a penalty kick for a 2-1 lead with 19 minutes, 10 seconds play before halftime. He nearly reached a hat trick with a pair of
great chances in the second half.

On the first, he blasted a shot wide of the net. On the second, Shawnee goalie Phil Gardella made a strong save.

Yates was able to generate scoring chances despite the slippery state of Washington Township's grass field.

"Guys were falling left and right," Yates said. "You really couldn't feel anything. But you do the best you can. It's kind
of a mind game."

Shawnee                  1    0    —   1

Washington Twp.    2    1    —   3

Goals: S-Devin Ribeiro; WT-Chad Yates 2, Brett Guetens.

Saves: S-Phil Gardella, 7; WT-Mike Pagano, 3.