DES MOINES — Sometimes, there's just no defense for a well-placed shot.

Brooklyn Woods' strike from about 40 yards out sailed just over the outstretched reach of Pleasant Valley keeper Ashlee Kwak, giving top-ranked Waukee a late first-half lead it turned into a 2-0 Class 3A quarterfinal win Thursday, June 6, at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

"I normally get looks from out there and I was wide open and called for the ball," said Woods, a freshman with five goals on the year. 

Kwak made 12 saves in the game but couldn't do anything about Woods' shot, which bent in just under the crossbar in the 36th minute.

"It's really tough, we honestly played as hard as we could this game, everyone was working hard so it was really tough to lose this one, especially with how hard we were playing," Kwak said.

Aside from that goal, the Spartans (12-6) played lockdown defense, remaining organized in the back and hoping for a counterattack to hit offensively.

They had their chances.

Camryn Woods got behind the Waukee (16-3) back line for a one-on-one chance, but her shot rolled just wide of the net. Then Maya Johnson had a look later in the first half that again sailed just wide.

"The fact we were able to create opportunities against a very good team, our kids understood what we were trying to do and we executed well early in the game," PV head coach Ed Knupp said. 

The Spartans had a couple more chances in the second half, and with PV upping the offensive pressure, Waukee's Lexi Ashmore scored in the 72nd minute to increase the Warriors' lead to 2-0.

Though this state run ends in the quarterfinals at the hands of Waukee for the second straight year, the future looks incredibly bright for Pleasant Valley. The Spartans graduate just two seniors and bring back 100 percent of their scoring from this year.

"I think it's so cool to see how we work as a team together because starting so many underclassmen, many thought we would not have a good season or not make it to state," said Woods, a freshman who finished tied with classmate Jayne Abraham for the team lead with seven goals. "Playing as a team got us to state, and we had a strong game against the No. 1 team."

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