Ben Taylor recorded three goals and an assist, and the Des Moines Menace scored all of its goals in the first half of tonight’s 5-2 exhibition win over the Winnipeg Lions at Valley Stadium.
Taylor entered tonight with a team-leading seven points through six games. He matched this total in the span of about 30 minutes.
“Everyone was playing well tonight,” said Taylor, who caught fire with goals in the 31st, 36th and 39th minutes. “Offensively, I thought we were sound, that we got in a good rhythm. It was a good team effort.
Taylor joked that it was his first hat trick since he was five, adding “It was fun to score those goals for the home fans.”
The Scotsman assisted Sterling Copeland in the eighth minute to open the scoring. Taylor also fed Copeland for the Menace’s only tally in Thursday’s 1-1 tie at Kansas City.
Less than a minute after Copeland’s header, Cameron Jordan launched a 20-yard bomb that Lions goalie Steve Sawatzky couldn’t even contest.
Jacob Schmoker used a free kick to assist Taylor’s first score. Taylor scored off his own free kick for the second of his two unassisted goals.
Ryan Dyck put the Lions on the board four minutes into the second half, and he assisted Nolly Sanchez off a corner kick in the 82nd minute.
Des Moines (3-0-3 in the Premier Development League’s Heartland Division) outshot Winnipeg, 22-5, including a 16-2 advantage on the way to the five-goal halftime lead. Menace head coach Casey Mann was able to rest some of his starters while giving minutes to several reserves.
COMING UP: After one more exhibition, the Menace gets back into divisional play next weekend. The team plays the Kansas City Wizards (Major League Soccer) on Wednesday, and takes off Thursday for Thunder Bay, Ontario. Des Moines faces the defending PDL champion Thunder Bay Chill at Chapples Park on Friday and Saturday.
The Menace returns to Valley Stadium on Saturday, June 20, when it hosts the Kansas City Brass at 7:30 p.m. The Father’s Day Celebration is sponsored by Verizon Wireless. All dads get in for $5 with the purchase of a kid’s ticket. Dads are also encouraged to wear their ugliest hat, for the chance to win a grill, sponsored by Murphy’s Bar & Grill in Urbandale.