Lindsey Bardole (7) scored the Menace's first goal of 2014.
EAST MINNETRISTA, Minn. – Saturday, May 24, 2014 – In their Women’s Premier Soccer League debut, it took the Minnesota TwinStars less than two minutes to collect their first goal. It took a strong finish by the Des Moines Menace to hand them their first loss.
The Menace equalized late in the first half, and the visitors pulled away for a 3-1, season-opening win at Mound Westonka High School this afternoon.
“It wasn’t pretty at times, but we figured out a way to get better and better every possession,” said Kevin Schalk, who enters his third season as the Menace’s head coach. “I think it was excellent play by everybody. Everybody fed off of each other.”
Returner Lindsey Bardole evened the match in the 44th minute, on an assist from former Grand View teammate Jordyn Thompson. Thompson grabbed the game-winner in the 54th minute. She cleaned up a botched clearance by TwinStars goalkeeper Kalena Litch, a member of the 2012 and 2013 Menace who played the second half for her home-state team.
A hand ball in Minnesota’s box set up the insurance goal in the 60th minute. Making her Menace debut, former UCLA standout Chelsea Cline converted the penalty kick, placing the ball off the right post.
Bardole, Thompson and Cline are college graduates who are part of an experienced ensemble looking to build on the Menace’s run to the elite eight of their inaugural WPSL season.
“I love this veteran squad. They’re ready to go and prove themselves,” Schalk said. “They get the job done.”
The Menace overcame some early-season jitters, which showed when the TwinStars staked the advantage on a header-goal finish of a free kick from 30 yards out.
“I wasn’t really worried when they scored,” Schalk said. “We were possessing the ball pretty well. It was just a little lapse, and I think we got all the nerves out in the first half. There wasn’t any doubt we could control the game.”
The Menace and the TwinStars will meet again in two weeks (June 7) at Valley Stadium. First, though, the Menace opens its home slate at Valley Stadium next Saturday (May 31), welcoming the Chicago Red Stars Reserves for their inaugural WPSL match.
WOMAN of the MATCH: Chelsea Cline, who scored on a PK in her Menace debut. The UCLA grad is a native of West Des Moines who played youth soccer for the Menace Academy. Cline is no stranger to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” She attended Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minn., and she made her mark with the W-League’s Minnesota Lightning.
UP NEXT: AT HOME ON MAY 31
The Menace hosts its home opener against the Chicago Red Stars Reserves next Saturday (May 31) at Valley Stadium. The game starts at 4:30 p.m., preceding a 7:30 exhibition between the Menace men and the Minnesota United FC Reserves (NPSL). The doubleheader is presented by Kum & Go.
Match: Des Moines Menace at Minnesota TwinStars
Date: Saturday, May 24, 2014
Competition: Women’s Premier Soccer League regular season
Venue: Mound Westonka High School (turf) in East Minnetrista, Minn.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. CDT
Weather: 80s with clear skies
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 1 2 3
MN 1 0 1
MENACE – Lindsey Bardole (Jordyn Thompson) 44:00; Thompson 54:00; Chelsea Cline PK 60:00
MN – 2:00
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. The Menace women debuted by winning the Women's League Soccer 2012 championship, and they followed this with a 2013 playoff berth in the Women's Premier Soccer League. They are back for their second season in the WPSL, a national league with more than 70 teams. Entering its 21st season, the Menace men’s side competes in the 64-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL). 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 program and tournaments.
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