By Phil Anastasia
Brett Milden hit the post in the game's first three minutes.
Another good chance slipped away a few minutes later.
"It wasn't discouraging," Milden said. "If you're getting chances, you know sooner or later the goals are going to come."
That's just what happened for Milden and the Clearview boys' soccer team in a 2-0 victory over Cherry Hill West Tuesday in the semifinals of the South Jersey Group 4 tournament.
On a bitterly cold and windy afternoon, the Pioneers kept their focus, generated a pair of second-half goals and advanced to the sectional title game.
"It's been a good run over the last week," Clearview coach Dodd Terry said. "We've played really well."
Milden, a senior striker, scored one goal and assisted on another as third-seeded Clearview (12-5-3) advanced to face top-seeded and undefeated Washington Township in Friday's South Jersey Group 4 title game on the Minutemen's field.
Washington Township (25-0) advanced with a 2-1 win over Shawnee. The Minutemen are the state's top-ranked team and regarded by many as one of the best team's in recent South Jersey history.
"They are a phenomenal team in every respect," said Terry, whose team lost as 4-1 decision to Washington Township in late September. "We're going to have to be at our bestto have a shot."
Clearview junior striker Matt Hendrickson broke the ice -- not quite literally, but almost given the cold, hard surface on which the two teams were playing -- with a goal off an assist from Milden five minutes into the second half.
"It was a momentum-builder," Hendrickson said of the game's first goal.
Tenth-seeded Cherry Hill West (13-7) withstood Clearview's early attack and created a few good scoring chances in the later stages of both periods.
"Anytime you make the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals, it's a huge accomplishment," Cherry Hill West coach Dan Butler said. "I thought it would be a one-goal game. When they got the second one, it made it tough because on a day this cold and this windy, it's extremely difficult to come back."
Milden made it 2-0 in the 62d minute, scoring an unassisted goal on a nifty individual move.
That was more than enough cushion for Clearview, which hasn't allowed a goal in three tournament wins. The Pioneers got strong work from senior backs Shane Burke and Ian Hunter as well as junior goalie Ricky Nelson.
"I have full confidence in our defense and our goalie," Milden said.
Cherry Hill West 0 0 -- 0
Clearview 0 2 -- 2
Goals: C-Matt Hendrickson, Brett Milden.
Saves: CHW-Alex Scott,8; C-Ricky Nelson, 4.
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