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Menace To Open against Drake

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – A pair of Elite Eight soccer teams from 2009 will go head-to-head at Valley Stadium on May 8, when the Des Moines Menace hosts Drake University in a 7:30 p.m. exhibition.

The Menace advanced to the postseason quarterfinals of the 68-team Premier Development League last summer, and Drake is coming off a memorable run last fall. The Bulldogs came within one win of reaching the 2009 College Cup, the Final Four of the NCAA Division-I Championship.

The exhibition serves as the only preseason tune-up for the Menace, and the first of 10 home matches – all on Saturdays – the team is scheduled to play in its third year at the West Des Moines stadium.

This season marks the return of Laurie Calloway as the Menace’s head coach. The England native held the position in 2001-2002, when the team went 27-7-5, finished fourth in the 2001 PDL playoffs and claimed the league’s 2002 regular-season title. The Menace went undefeated (15-0-3) in 2002, when Calloway was named PDL Coach of the Year.

“We’re all excited for the season to start,” Calloway said. “It’s a long offseason, and Drake helped keep a banner season alive with their tremendous performance in the postseason. It’s important to us to start our season against a top team and ally, like Drake.”

The Menace and Drake have a history of working together. In 2009, several Bulldogs helped the Menace (11-1-4) to the Heartland Division’s regular-season and post-season championships. Among the Drake players in the Menace’s lineup last season were first-team all-Missouri Valley Conference performers Julien Edwards and Garrett Webb, and Iowa natives Nick Foster (West Des Moines) and Hunter Kennedy (Cedar Rapids).

Last fall, Drake (16-7-2) finished eighth in the final coaches’ poll and RPI standings. Sean Holmes’ Bulldogs won their first-ever MVC Tournament crown and kept their postseason alive with NCAA Tournament wins over Western Illinois, Ohio State and Boston College. The Cinderella run ended with a 2-1 loss at North Carolina in December.

Earlier this week, Holmes’ crew was honored as the College Team of the Year at the first annual Central Iowa Sports Awards. The Des Moines Area Sports Commission presented the awards on Sunday (Feb. 21).

“I’d like to congratulate Sean Holmes on the tremendous job he’s done in building his program into a national contender,” Calloway said. “I’m looking forward to working with him closely in assessing five of his top players for our team. Their playoff experience from the fall will only help us this season, in a run to the title.”

The Menace’s regular season starts four days after the meeting with the Bulldogs. After a May 12 opener at Springfield (Mo.), Des Moines is back at home the following Saturday (May 15), welcoming Rochester (Minn.). These matches comprise the first half of the Menace’s four qualifying matches for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Entering 2010, Des Moines is undefeated in 21 of its last 22 regular-season matches. In 2009 the team won eight of its last nine regular-season matches, finishing 11-1-4.

The Menace is the 2009 Premier Development League Organization of the Year.

 
Des Moines Menace 2010 Schedule
# = Exhibition   ** = U.S. Open qualifier              All times Central
MAY
Saturday, May 8
DRAKE UNIVERSITY #
7:30 PM
Valley Stadium
Wednesday, May 12
at Springfield Demize **
7:30 PM
Cooper Complex
Saturday, May 15
ROCHESTER THUNDER **
7:30 PM
Valley Stadium
Wednesday, May 19
at Kansas City Brass **
7:30 PM
William Jewell College
Saturday, May 22
ST. LOUIS LIONS **
7:30 PM
Valley Stadium
Saturday, May 29
KANSAS CITY BRASS
7:30 PM
Valley Stadium
JUNE
Friday, June 4
at Real Colorado Foxes
8:00 PM
Shea Stadium
Saturday, June 5
at Real Colorado Foxes
8:00 PM
Shea Stadium
Saturday, June 12
REAL COLORADO FOXES
7:30 PM
Valley Stadium
Sunday, June 13
at St. Louis Lions
5:00 PM
Tony Glavin Complex
Friday, June 18
at Thunder Bay Chill
6:30 PM
Chapples Park
Saturday, June 19
at Thunder Bay Chill
6:30 PM
Chapples Park
Thursday, June 24
at Rochester Thunder
7:00 PM
Roch. Comm. and Tech. College
Saturday, June 26
SPRINGFIELD DEMIZE
7:30 PM
Valley Stadium
JULY
Saturday, July 3
THUNDER BAY CHILL
7:30 PM
Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 10
ST. PAUL TWIN STARS #
7:30 PM
Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 17
KANSAS CITY BRASS
7:30 PM
Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 24
ST. LOUIS LIONS
7:30 PM
Valley Stadium
 


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