Iowa boys' state soccer: Pleasant Valley topples Iowa City West for first Class 3A title
It didn't take Pleasant Valley long to enjoy a successful boys' soccer state tournament.
The sixth-seeded Spartans made it to their first state tournament in school history this year. They beat No. 3 Cedar Rapids Prairie in the quarterfinals and No. 2 Johnston in the semifinals. Then, on Saturday evening, they toppled No. 1 Iowa City West 1-0 to claim the Class 3A title.
Instead of saying "cheese" for the postgame victory photo, Pleasant Valley's players said "6-seed" with wry, proud smiles.
"We were so confident," senior defender Jack Roemer said. "The seedings, they didn't even matter to us coming into the tournament. It was just a number to us. We knew that if we played together and confident that this could happen."
Pleasant Valley (20-3) got the job done at the Cownie Sports Complex during tournament week like it had all season — with smothering defense. Over their 20-game regular season, the Spartans allowed only 12 goals.
They secured 1-0 shutouts against Prairie, Johnston and West, which had combined to score 190 goals during the regular season and were all among the top 15 most- productive offenses in 3A.
"He's insane," Roemer said, pointing to his goalkeeper, Gabe Johnson. "Gabe's insane. But we trusted each other, had confidence in each other this whole season."
After a scoreless first half, Pleasant Valley's Rhys Ward finally broke the stalemate with a cannon-legged goal from 35 yards in the 70th minute.
West (20-2) relentlessly tried to attack over the final 10 minutes to get the equalizer. It secured a corner kick with two minutes left as its last realistic effort, but the Trojans were unable to do anything with it.
Pleasant Valley becomes the first Quad Cities school to win a boys' soccer state title since Bettendorf did it in 2004.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Drake basketball and pretty much anything else under the sports sun for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.