Maggie Kukuk-Wyle (pictured) assisted Jenna Richins' equalizer, which was quickly followed by Tori VonMende's game-winner.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, May 18, 2013 – Back-to-back goals from Jenna Richins and Tori VonMende in the 73th and 75th minutes propelled the Des Moines Menace women to a 3-2 comeback victory over WSA Winnipeg tonight at Valley Stadium.
The exhibition win was the lone tune-up for the team’s first Women’s Premier Soccer League season, set to begin next weekend.
“We’re going to play the same way regardless of what position we’re in. We’re never going to back down,” said head coach Kevin Schalk of his team’s effort. “Everything just clicked for a couple of minutes.”
Schalk’s troops found themselves behind on a couple occasions, with Amy Harrison spotting the Canucks a pair of leads. Harrison connected on a penalty kick in the 15th minute and gave her side a 2-1 halftime advantage when she scored a counter-attack goal in first-half stoppage time.
“We just talked about a few of the mistakes we were making at half. I didn’t make any changes,” said Schalk.
The talk clearly helped the Menace. The team took control after the break, dominating the right side of the field and consistently getting deep into the Winnipeg zone. Pressure continued to build until the dam burst and Richins and VonMende broke through.
Lindesy Bardole got the Menace on the board in the 36th minute, when she drove home a shot, set up by Haley Halverson.
Even with the win, Schalk sees room for improvement for his team, which has welcomed back 11 returners from the 2012 Women’s League Soccer championship season.
“We were just a little off on a lot of things,” Schalk said of the Menace’s play, “It wasn’t fluid like it should be. But a win’s a win is a win."
With an exhibition behind them and their experience a bit broader, the Menace women turn their attention to the Kansas City Shock. Des Moines will travel to Kansas City to ground the Shock next Sunday, May 26 at 7 p.m.
WOMAN of the MATCH, presented by Seneca Companies, goes to: Forward Haley Helverson, who recorded a pair of assists including the game-winner in the 75th minute. Helverson, a graduate of West Des Moines Valley High School, attends the University of Minnesota, where she started 19 of 20 games for the Gophers and earned freshmen all-Big Ten honors in 2012.
UP NEXT: The Menace opens the WPSL schedule at Kansas City, Kansas Community College on May 26. The team’s next home action comes June 8 against Madison.
Match: WSA Winnipeg at Des Moines Menace
Date: Saturday, May 18, 2013
Venue: Valley Stadium (turf field) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 70s and sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 1 2 3
WSA 2 0 2
MENACE – Lindsey Bardole (Haley Halverson) 36:00; Jenna Richens (Maggie Kukuk-Wylie) 73:00; Tori VonMende (Haley Helverson) 75:00
WSA—Amy Harrison (PK) 15:00; Amy Harrison (Brooklyn Dyce) 45:00
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. The Menace’s women’s team enters the Women’s Premier Soccer League in 2013, after debuting as the Women’s League Soccer 2012 champions. The Menace teams play their 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, Junior Menace and tournaments.