WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – May 16, 2009 – Thomas Ostrander gave the Des Moines Menace the only goal it needed tonight against the Real Colorado Foxes, and goalkeeper Sean Molony rose to the challenge, preserving a 1-0 win at Valley Stadium. With its third straight victory to start the Premier Development League season, the Menace is off to a 3-0 start in U.S. Open Cup qualifying matches.
Molony saved the day, stopping Brad Stisser’s penalty kick in the 64th minute. The ball ricocheted back to Stisser, who had an open net. With Molony on one knee, Stisser hit the field-goal post.
“I read him, because his hips were open,” said Molony, a native of Centennial, Colo., who was facing some familiar foes, including college teammates and players he’s known since he was 12. “I knew he was going to my left, so I took one step, and, fortunately, I saved it. Unfortunately, it went right back to him. When I saw it sail over the goal, I said ‘Thank God.’”
“The credit goes to Sean,” said Menaces head coach Casey Mann. “When he was called upon, he delivered again. It means a lot to be 3-0 in Open Cup play, and to get a jump start on the PDL season.”
The match’s only goal came on Ostrander’s header in the 59th minute. He was assisted by Ben Taylor, who scored the first goal in each of the Menace’s first two matches.
Des Moines outshot the Foxes – one of the Heartland Division’s two expansion teams – 17-7. Still, Mann sees room for improvement on the offensive end.
“Defensively, I thought we were organized and solid,” Mann said. “We need to be more feisty and more scrappy. I knew going in to the season that we’d have a strong group defensively. Now, we’ll be bringing in a group of five or six attackers who will really help us out.”
This is the first time in Mann’s five seasons that the Menace has started 3-0.
The Foxes are 2-2, after losing two straight 1-0 matches. They fell against the Rochester (Minn.) Thunder – the division’s other new club – last night.
Tonight’s match, played in front of 4,240 fans, is the only meeting between these two teams during the 2009 regular season.
UP NEXT: The Menace plays its next two matches against the St. Louis Lions. Next Saturday’s 5 p.m. match at the Tony Glavin Complex in St. Peters, Mo., is the final U.S. Open Cup qualifier for each team. The Lions are 2-0 and play the Kansas City Brass tomorrow.
The Menace returns to Valley Stadium on Saturday, May 30, hosting the Lions on Tomas Boltnar Night, when the team retires the jersey of its all-time leading scorer. It’s also “Black-Out Night,” sponsored by Sheraton West Des Moines. Fans wearing black can purchase $5 tickets, and the first 500 through the gate get a pair of “Sheraton shades.” All Menace home matches start at 7:30 p.m.