SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – With the wind at their backs, the Des Moines Menace overcame a halftime deficit and blew past the Springfield Demize. The Menace escaped Drury University’s Harrison Stadium with a 3-1 triumph in tonight's Premier Development League regular-season opener for both sides.
Clark Bradford tied the match on a volley in the 66th minute, and Juan Hoyos provided the game-winner in stoppage time. The Demize defense allowed an own goal one minute later, cementing the Menace’s victory.
“It’s a great feeling to win the way we did, coming from behind,” said Laurie Calloway, after coaching his first PDL regular-season match since leading the Menace in 2001 and 2002. “This is a good morale-booster for our guys."
A swirling, gusty wind whipped through the stadium for most of the match and proved a big factor.
“(The wind) definitely helped (Springfield) in the first half, and it definitely helped us in the second half,” Calloway said. “I think we did much better with the ball in the second half than they did in the first half. We utilized the wind better.
“I always felt that in the second half, we would be able to get at them. I didn’t have any doubts, because of the wind.”
A halftime adjustment from a 4-5-1 formation to a 4-4-2 allowed the Menace to start attacking more in the final 45 minutes. Calloway said Bradford’s goal was the killer blow that deflated the Demize and gave the Menace the needed boost of confidence.
Sterling Copeland was credited with an assist. After his pass struck a defender, the ball popped up 20 feet in the air, and Bradford blasted the ball in the net from 18 yards out.
Three minutes into the extra period, Hoyos put the Menace up for good when he dribbled in from about 25 yards out and buried the ball in the back of the net from six yards out.
“The boys showed a lot of character in the last 20-30 minutes,” Calloway said. “We were able to keep the ball the last 20 minutes, and that was a big factor in the win.”
The Menace’s new, old coach credited his back four – defenders Kalen Ryden, Roger Downes, Sam Brooks and Jack Pearson. After some early scares, they shut down Springfield in the second half, when goalkeeper Jason Williams touched the ball on only a few occasions.
It was an eerily familiar feeling for the Menace. In Springfield on May 13 a year ago, the Menace trailed the Demize 1-0 before using a trio of late goals to win by the same score.
In that match almost a year ago to the day, Ben Taylor – the Menace’s points leader in 2009 – tied things up for Des Moines. This time around, he scored against his former team. In the 27th minute, Taylor converted on a free kick from about 18 yards out, on the left side of the box.
Going back to 2007, the Menace has won all nine meetings with the Demize. These teams will see each other only one more time in the regular season – June 26 at Valley Stadium. Des Moines has outscored Springfield 34-3.
The Menace was won nine of its last 10 regular-season matches and is undefeated in 22 of its last 23. The team has not lost on the road in nearly two years – not since a setback at Colorado Rapids U-23 on May 23, 2008.
This match is each team’s first qualifying match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Menace has three more qualifiers, starting Saturday at home.
Up Next: The Menace welcomes the Rochester (Minn.) Thunder for a 7:30 match on Saturday night at Valley Stadium. Presented by Verizon Wireless, the match features the Diamond Dig; one lucky lady will win a diamond necklace from Charles Ganske and InFocus Partners. The first 300 fans receive cow bells.
Match: Menace vs. Springfield Demize
Date: May 12, 2010
Competition: Premier Development League regular-season opener for both teams
Venue: Harrison Stadium on the Drury University campus
Kickoff: 6:00 p.m. CDT
Weather: 70's, windy with gusts 20-30 mph
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 0 3 3
SPR 1 0 1
MENACE- 66’ Clark Bradford (Sterling Copeland); 90+ Juan Hoyos; 90+ own goal by SPR defense
SPR- 27’ Ben Taylor (free kick)