SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – May 13, 2009 – Down 1-0 in the closing minutes, the Des Moines Menace used a trio of late goals to escape Cooper Sports Complex with a victory tonight. The 3-1 win over the Springfield Demize gives the Menace a 2-0 mark in U.S. Open Cup qualifying matches to start the Premier Development League season.
Ben Taylor tied the match in the 85th minute, and Bradley Barraclough put Des Moines up with less than two minutes left in regulation. Veteran Ross Moffat provided an insurance goal in the third minute of stoppage time.
“You have to give credit to Springfield,” said Menace head coach Casey Mann. “It was their first game, their home opener, and they weren’t going to give up. It’s never easy on the road.”
Playing without the services of five key contributors from its 2-1 win against Rochester on Saturday, Mann’s crew continued to find its identity tonight.
With several new faces in the lineup, the Menace was unable to make the most of its chances in the early going. In the first 45 minutes, two of the team’s shots hit the post, while nothing materialized from Des Moines’ 7-0 advantage in first-half corner kicks.
“All the opportunities that we created paid off in the end,” Mann said. “I thought we knocked the ball around a lot better than we did in our first game, and we did it with what was pretty much a brand new team, especially in the middle of the field.”
Taylor scored unassisted on a volley, and it marked the second-straight time that the Scotsman opened the scoring for Des Moines. It was a homecoming of sorts for Taylor, who plays for Division-II Drury, a Springfield university.
The Menace’s other goals also had international flavor. Samuel Assante, who was born in Ghana, assisted the game-winner by Barraclough, a citizen of England making his Menace debut.
Another English player seeing his first PDL action, Luke Baker, set up Moffat, who is from Scotland.
The Demize’s Micah Whorton, a Drury teammate of Taylor’s, opened up the scoring in the match’s 57th minute.
Mann praised the play of his goalkeeper, Sean Molony, who he said “was huge when he needed to be.”
The Menace prepares for another Open Cup qualifying match, against the Real Colorado Foxes, who are off to a 2-0 start.
“I’m proud of this group,” Mann said, “But now it’s time to get ready for a tough Real Colorado team. It’s now about recovering and bringing in the Drake guys (who missed tonight’s game due to final exams).”
UP NEXT: The Menace will be back at Valley Stadium on Saturday, hosting Real Colorado – a Denver-based expansion club – at 7:30 p.m. It’s Catholic School Night, when catholic students, teachers, employees, and their families can purchase $5 tickets.