After missing six games with an injury, defender Anthony Colaizzi returned to action tonight against his former team.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, July 8, 2011 – With a 1-0 win tonight, the Thunder Bay Chill boosted its Premier Development League playoff chances and punctured the Des Moines Menace’s.
Still, the Menace (9-4-0) can keep its postseason hopes alive tomorrow, when these Heartland Division rivals return for a 7:30 rematch at Valley Stadium.
Thunder Bay (9-1-1) is in the driver’s seat for one of the division’s two playoff spots, thanks to Brandon Swartzendruber’s goal in tonight’s 40th minute. Nolan Intermoia assisted Swartzendruber’s sixth goal of the season.
Des Moines had chances to tie the match, outshooting the visitors 27-9. The Menace held a 15-6 edge in the second half, despite playing a man down. Ben Taylor was sent off when he received his second yellow card in the 58th minute.
“We had a lot of pressure in the second half, even when we had only 10 players,” said Menace head coach Laurie Calloway. “Unfortunately…it just wasn’t our day.”
The Chill is undefeated in seven straight against the Menace. Heading into their sixth match in eight days, the defending PDL finalists are riding an eight-match unbeaten streak on the season – which they hope will end with their fifth-straight playoff run.
With only three regular-season matches left on its schedule, Calloway and company know there’s little margin for error.
“It’s a tall order now,” Calloway said of the team’s playoff chances. “It’s a silly game, though. Who knows? We won’t say it’s over ‘til it’s over.”
A win tonight would have given Menace sole possession of first place in the division. Real Colorado (9-1-2, 29 points) remains in this spot for one more night. One point stands between the first-place Foxes and the Chill; the same distance separates Thunder Bay and the third-place Menace in this tight playoff race.
“We need to win out and have some things happen for us,” said Andy Holte, who made six saves in net for the Menace. “We can’t have lapses, and we just have to put away some of our chances.”
Holte’s counterpart, Stephen Paterson, made eight saves tonight, collecting the team’s ninth shutout. The Chill has outscored foes 18-4 this season, including a 6-0 margin over the Menace in a trio of wins.
MR. B MAN of the MATCH goes to: Andy Holte, a native of Iowa City who plays for Butler. Making his third-straight appearance in the Menace goal, Holte kept the Menace in the match with some key saves.
UP NEXT: Saturday’s match, presented by Kum & Go, is one of just three remaining home matches on the Menace’s 2011 schedule. Des Moines will be at home three straight Saturdays, before closing the season at St. Louis on Sunday, July 24.
The Menace’s July 16 opponent is a team of Menace alumni, including the likes of Tomas Boltnar, Neathan Gibson, Armin Mujdzic and Luke Frieberg.
All Menace home matches start at 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium.
Match: Des Moines Menace vs. Thunder Bay Chill
Date: Friday, July 8, 2011
Competition: Premier Development League regular-season match
Venue: Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, Iowa
Attendance: 3, 244
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 80s, Sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 0 0 0
TB 1 0 1
TB – Brandon Swartzendruber (Nolan Intermoia) 40:00
Stats Summary: MENACE / TB
Shots: 27 / 9
Saves: 6 / 8
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 13 / 10
Offsides: 0 / 1
Misconduct Summary: MENACE Yellow Cards: Ben Taylor 56:00; Ben Taylor 57:00; John Sosa 58:00; Anthony Colaizzi 90:00 Red Card: Ben Taylor 57:00 TB Yellow Cards: Luis Gonzales 54:00
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace competes in the 64-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL), the highest amateur level of soccer in North America. The Menace plays its home matches in a fun, family-friendly environment at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines. The organization promotes a healthy lifestyle through its popular youth programs, including the Menace Academy (select soccer for ages 9-19), camps, clinics and tournaments.
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