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Menace, Lions draw, 1-1

ST. PETERS, Mo.  – The St. Louis Lions scored late to secure a 1-1 tie with the Des Moines Menace today at Tony Glavin Soccer Complex. Stuart Wark‘s goal in the 82nd minute – the only second-half score Des Moines has allowed in nine matches to start the Premier Development League season – sent the Menace packing with its fourth straight draw.

“Extremely frustrating,” said Menace head coach Laurie Calloway. “We battled. I never felt we were going to lose the game. We made a mistake, and we paid for it. You can look at these last four games one of two ways: ‘Was it four points gained, or was it eight points lost?’”

The Menace (4-1-4, 16 points) needed to win today to take back first place in the Heartland Division, after Rochester (5-2-2, 17 points) shut out Springfield this afternoon. St. Louis (4-2-2) is in third place, alongside Real Colorado (3-2-5) – the team Des Moines tied in its previous three matches, including a 1-1 result last night at Valley Stadium.

The stalemate extends these teams’ unbeaten streaks. Des Moines has not lost in seven outings, and St. Louis is undefeated in six straight after losing 2-1 on the Menace’s home turf on May 22.

For the first time this season, the Menace got on the scoreboard before its opponent. Logan McDaniel delivered on a penalty kick in the 20th minute, set up when Sterling Copeland was taken down in the box. After assisting Stephen Okai’s equalizer last night, McDaniel is the team’s second player to reach three goals, joining Clark Bradford.

“We dominated the first half. Everyone played very, very well. It was incredible,” Calloway said. “The second half, felt great. It’s our own fault we didn’t finish.”

Entering the contest, the Menace had been outscored 2-9 in the first half and had a lopsided, 11-0 advantage in the second 45 minutes.

Just two minutes after coming off the bench, Wark put an end to the Menace’s season-long second-half shutout. Wark’s header, assisted by Jarius Holmes’ cross, sealed the seventh tie in the five-year history of these rivals.

Each team has won three games in the series, whose next chapter comes on the final day of the regular-season: July 24 at Valley Stadium.

With his team working on less than 24 hours’ rest and another match around the corner, Calloway made several changes to today’s lineup.

Jake Wright made his first regular-season appearance in goal; midfielder Stephen Okai filled in at right back for Jubril Lawal, who had to sit this one out after receiving a red card last night; Stefan De Las moved from the back row to the middle of the field; and defender Jack Pearson started up top.

“All the guys deserve credit,” said Calloway. “You can’t be too disappointed. A lot of good came out of it.”

The Menace faces three more tests this week. The team’s third match in four days comes Tuesday, with a home date against AC St. Louis in the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Des Moines travels to Canada to play the Thunder Bay Chill on Friday and Saturday.

OPEN CUP TUESDAY:  Des Moines hosts AC St. Louis of the USSF-Division 2 Pro League at 7:30 p.m. This is the fifth Open Cup appearance in franchise history (2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006). Fans can save by purchasing tickets before game day. Before Tuesday, single tickets are available for $7 and four-packs are $25. Tickets return to the normal $9 rate on the day of the game.

: Menace vs. St. Louis Lions
Date: June 13, 2010
Competition: Premier Development League regular-season match
Venue: Tony Gavin Soccer Complex in St. Peters, Mo.
Kickoff: 5 p.m. CDT
Weather: 90s, humid with some rain; match delayed for about an hour, due to lightning, with game clock at 60:00

Scoring Summary:     1   2   F
MENACE                       1   0   1
StL                               0   1    1

MENACE – Logan McDaniel PK 20:00
StL – Stuart Wark (Jarius Holmes) 82:00

Misconduct Summary:MENACE Yellow Cards: Jack Pearson 4:00; Kalen Ryden 45:00; StL Yellow Cards: Blaine Veldhuis 19:00; Stuart Wark 89:00

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