Menace Intern Jordan Guy will bring you a new player spotlight each week of the 2013 season. This week’s women's spotlight features forward Tori VonMende. Posted June 21, 2013.
For any soccer player, feelings of heightened tension and immense pressure are common during games. The women of the Des Moines Menace are no exception.
But the Menace does have a secret weapon against their nerves. Their personal anti-stress fighter is none other than exhibition-hero Tori VonMende.
Since joining the Menace in the inaugural year, VonMende has provided a certain humor that has calmed the team during rougher times.
“I’m just really goofy; I like to make the other girls on the team laugh,” said VonMende. “Like one time, I was on the bench and just starting yelling about a granola bar I wanted. I don’t know why, but it was funny at the time and made the girls laugh.”
Prior to games though, it’s all business for the second-year forward. Preferring to stay silent and focus in on the coming game, VonMende is often among the most withdrawn players during warm-ups.
“I really don’t talk much, I just try to get in the zone before kickoff,” said VonMende with a laugh. “But I do always make a point to go to the bathroom, so I guess you could call that my pregame ritual.”
The Council Bluffs native has been a vital member of the team on the field as well. VonMende leads the team with three goals including game-winners in both the Menace’s one-goal exhibition victories.
VonMende’s latest game-winner was converted with only four minutes left against the Iowa Rush on June 15.
“I faked a pass, did my signature spin-thing, and got the shot off,” said VonMende of the goal. “Seeing it score just really got me pumped up and motivated to play.”
For such a productive member of the team, the senior-to-be from Northwest Missouri State almost missed playing for the Menace altogether.
She was only offered a spot on Des Moines’ team after impressing coaches at a college practice.
“I’ve always been down to try something new and I’m glad it happened,” said VonMende of joining the Menace. “I really love it.”
Hometown: Council Bluffs, Iowa
College: Northwest Missouri State
College Classification and Degree: Senior in Corporation and Recreation &Wellness
Pre-game Rituals: Focus, no talking, then restroom
Favorite Goal-Scoring Celebration: Hugs and heel-flicks