Tulpehocken played to its strengths in Saturday’s District 3, Class 1A boys soccer semifinal at New Schaefferstown.

Physical and mental.

The top-seeded Trojans controlled the game throughout and never trailed during a 3-0 victory over fifth-seeded Greenwood that sent them to their third straight district final and a berth in the PIAA playoffs.

“It was another very business-like performance,” Tulpehocken coach Trevor Brown said. “We controlled the vast majority of possessions. Greenwood, I mean they’re hard to break down because they’re extremely organized defensively. They had a fantastic game plan, really good players, great coaching staff, so I think it was a really good win because not only did we dominate possession but it was against a very good side.”

Senior Mason Lillis had two goals and an assist and Gael Velazquez had a goal and an assist for Tulpehocken (22-1), which outshot Greenwood 17-3 and had a 10-0 corner advantage.

“When we come together and play our best game, we’re hard to beat,” Lillis said. “I think today was one of our best games, we moved the ball quickly, we worked hard and we worked for each other.”

The defending Berks champions, the Trojans took a 1-0 lead against the Wildcats (15-3-1) at 18:17 of the first half when Velazquez scored on an assist from Lillis. The two switched roles at the 35:07 mark when Lillis deflected a Velasquez shot to make it 2-0.

In the second half, Lillis scored a goal by heading in a beautiful cross from Weston Campbell at 67:26.

“We continued to control the game and it was fantastic,” Brown said. “That’s our best asset is just our possession and how we can just flow with the ball. And, you know, we finally scored the third goal. I always say to the guys – everyone knows this already – the worst lead in football is 2-0 up because you start to relax mentally, but we didn’t. We kept pushing and pushing and finally got the third one out.”

Next up for Tulpehocken is Mount Calvary Christian – a 1-0 winner over West Shore Christian in the other semifinal – in the final at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Eagle View Middle School in Cumberland Valley.

Last year, the then-defending champion Trojans lost 2-1 to Camp Hill in the finals and then lost 1-0 to Moravian Academy in the state quarterfinals.

“This group is on a mission,” Brown said, “and we’ve been on a mission since last year, in November, when the season ended at Moravian Academy. That mission was to go out and win championships, plural. And we continue to do so. … Now we’re 2-0 in districts and we get another shot at the championship on Wednesday. I love it.”

“It’s wonderful,” Lillis said. “That’s what makes us happy, but we know the business isn’t taken care of yet and we still have a lot of work to do to get what we came here for.”