About 45 minutes before a soccer match, Corbin Stone gives each player on his Pleasant Valley team a note card with a specific thought.

For sophomore Drew Guinn, the message for Monday night's contest against Davenport Central: "Be opportunistic. Be dynamic when you're up front."

Guinn followed those words precisely.

The forward scored two breakaway goals off long balls as Class 3A 10th-ranked Pleasant Valley downed 13th-ranked Central 3-0 at Spartan Stadium.

"Once you get to the ball, everything kind of slows down and you just put the ball in the back of the net," Guinn said.

PV didn't win its 10th match until May 23 last season. The Spartans equaled that mark Monday in just 11 tries.

Other than a shootout loss to Burlington, a match in which PV outshot the Grayhounds 28-1, the Spartans have conquered every challenge.

Stone's squad has yielded only two goals this season in regulation time. It stymied a Central offense that was averaging more than three scores a game.

"I think the style that we have has been very effective in limiting not just chances but goals for other teams," Stone said. "Plus, Josh Stivers is one of the best goalkeepers in the state. He could play Division I soccer if he wanted."

PV has been very balanced offensively.

The Spartans have nobody with more than four goals but 13 different players have found the back of the net.

"Our superstar is the team," Stone said. "We have a team that is bought into our approach, our style, our culture and because of that, we're effective and dangerous.

"We can call on more than 20 different guys to step in and make a contribution."

Guinn scored in the seventh minute. After corralling a long ball, he dribbled and outraced a Central defender and scored past keeper Damien Burtle.

Then in the 36th minute, freshman Gabby Elias connected for his first varsity goal inside the box.

Guinn padded the cushion with another goal in the 62nd minute.

"One of the best things about this team is, you never know who is going to be scoring the goals," Guinn said. "It makes it hard for the opposite team to stop us.

"Corbin really came in and changed the system this year. We have new formations, we're more about pressing the back line and being more active off the ball."

PV had ample opportunities to counter attack with the long ball.

"To be honest, we should have done it more often," Stone said. "We probably would have scored more goals. When teams give you that amount of space in behind, you should take it. We utilized Drew's pace and anticipation."

The Spartans are in a three-way tie for second place in the Mississippi Athletic Conference at 3-1 with Burlington and Central. Bettendorf is in sole possession of first place at nearly the midway point.

Central (6-3) was limited to six shots in the match. The Blue Devils have lost two straight heading into Friday's home match against Bettendorf.


Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.