ROCHESTER, Minn. – June 24, 2010 – The Rochester Thunder’s Chris Andre scored late to force a 1-1 result tonight at Rochester Community and Technical College Stadium, dealing the Des Moines Menace its sixth draw in seven Premier Development League matches in June.
The Menace has tied more matches this month than any other Menace team has tied in a full season. Des Moines (4-2-6) leads the 67-team league in this category.
“We played so well – probably the best we’ve played in two halves all season,” said Menace head coach Laurie Calloway. “We just couldn’t hold on those last few minutes.”
A 1-0 lead slipped through the Menace’s hands in the 88th minute, when Ryan Sappington collected the ball off a Rochester throw-in and set up Andre, who negated a goal by Lebogang Moloto that came 14 minutes earlier.
Moloto weaved in and out of the Thunder defense in the 74th minute to notch his third goal of the season – his first since back-to-back game winners to end the month of May. Upon receiving a pass from Jubril Lawal, Moloto turned the corner on one defender and cut past another. The South African nicknamed “Tsunami” bent the ball with the outside of the right foot, curling it past diving goalkeeper Sebastian Narvaez.
In its final road action of the season, Des Moines was looking to avenge a 1-0 loss to Rochester at home on May 15.
Calloway said the team is trying to stay positive.
“We’ve played well,” the veteran coach said. “We’ve had the lion’s share of possession. I’ve told our guys, ‘You’re one of the best teams in the league going into the last 20 yards of the field. Unfortunately, we’re one of the worst in the final 20 yards of the field.”
The Menace has scored more than one goal just twice this month, despite consistently outshooting the other team. Tonight, Des Moines finished with an 18-10 advantage in shots, including a 13-4 margin in the first half.
Des Moines closes the season with four home matches, starting Saturday against Springfield. The team shares second place with Rochester (5-2-3), two points behind Real Colorado (5-2-5, 20 points) and two points ahead of Thunder Bay (5-1-2). The Heartland Division’s top two teams advance to the PDL playoffs.
“We move on,” Calloway said. “We see what we can do the last four games and see how the cookie crumbles.”
UPCOMING HOME ACTION: Des Moines is back at home on Saturday, hosting the Springfield Demize. The match caps off a triple-header that opens with the Iowa High School All-Star Games, at 3 p.m. (boys) and 5 p.m. (girls). All three matches are presented by Kum & Go.
The Menace plays at home five straight Saturdays, concluding with a July 24 regular-season finale.
Match: Menace at Rochester Thunder
Date: June 24, 2010
Competition: Premier Development League Heartland Division regular-season match
Venue: Rochester Community and Technical College Stadium in Rochester, Minn.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CDT
Weather: 60s, mostly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 0 1 1
ROCH 0 1 1
MENACE – Lebogang Moloto (Jubril Lawal) 74:00
ROCH – Chris Andrea (Andre Sappington) 88:00
Stats Summary: MENACE / ROCH
Shots: 18 / 10
Saves: 3 / 9
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 11 / 13
Offside: 0 / 1
Misconduct Summary: MENACE Yellow Card: Stephen Okai 54:00; ROCH Yellow Card: Mark Heath-Preston 88:00