Photo credit: Art Schramm Photography
THUNDER BAY, Canada – Saturday, June 14, 2014 – Throw that winless streak out the window. The Des Moines Menace’s cold spell in road matches against the Thunder Bay Chill is over.
With a 3-2 triumph over their arch-rivals tonight at chilly Chapples Park, the visitors snapped their skid of eight straight unfruitful matches in Thunder Bay (0-7-1), and they made their long trip home a whole lot happier.
Coming 24 hours after the Chill opened this doubleheader with a 3-1 win, tonight’s satisfying result is the Menace’s first victory here since June 13, 2009. Five years ago, that win was part of a memorable run for Des Moines, which won the Heartland Division and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Premier Development League playoffs.
Less than 20 minutes into tonight’s match, the Menace was up two goals against the defending PDL finalist. Ralphie Lundy scored in the third minute, and Javi Lopez found the net in the 17th.
“It’s great,” Menace head coach Mike Jeffries said. “After the loss the night before, I thought our guys showed a lot of pride. They came out with a really good mentality and got that early lead.”
Chris Hellmann scored tonight’s game-winner in the 56th minute. Lundy assisted Hellmann’s goal – his third in three matches – and Hellmann assisted Lopez, a college teammate at Lynn University (Fla.).
Jeffries jumbled up the starting lineup, putting Lopez – a tall defender – up top. The move paid off.
“I thought Javi came out with a great mentality,” Jeffries said. “He was a huge presence for us, and he gave us everything he had.”
The Chill’s goals came 12 minutes apart in the second half, sandwiching Hellmann’s game-winner.
In the 54th minute, Menace goalkeeper David Meves blocked a penalty kick by Nolan Intermoia, who made good on a PK last night. The Chill’s Declan Rodriguez scored on the rebound. In the 66th minute, Ivan Ocerin scored his fourth goal in as many matches, bringing the Chill within a goal.
Thunder Bay kept pushing for the equalizer, but Meves and the Menace defense stood their ground. They were able to slow the pace down just enough to outlast the Chill’s desperate measures.
The Menace (4-1-0) shares the Heartland Division lead with the St. Louis Lions (3-1-3), who earned a scoreless draw tonight against the visiting Springfield Demize. Thunder Bay is 3-3-0, one year after clinching the league’s regular-season crown with a sparkling 12-1-1 record.
“We’re just going to enjoy this one tonight, probably not going to sleep too much tonight,” Jeffries said. “This is a great group, and hopefully we can keep it going.”
MAN of the MATCH: Chris Hellmann, for his game-winning goal and his assist of Javi Lopez’s score. Hellmann, a native of Cologne, Gemany, attends Lynn University (Fla.). He leads the Menace with three goals – each coming in the team’s last three games.
UP NEXT: The Menace plays three of its next four matches at home. Des Moines will be back at Valley Stadium next Saturday (June 21), hosting the Springfield Demize in the second and final leg of the Kum & Go Kup. The Menace hits the road for a June 24 match at Chicago, and returns for June 28-29 doubleheader with Thunder Bay.
Match: Des Moines Menace at Thunder Bay Chill
Date: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Chapples Park (grass) in Thunder Bay, Ontario
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. EDT
Weather: 40s, windy with overcast skies
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 2 1 3
TB 0 2 2
MENACE – Ralphie Lundy 3:00; Javi Lopez (Chris Hellmann) 17:00; Chris Hellmann (Ralphie Lundy) 56:00
TB – Declan Rodriguez (Nolan Intermoia) 54:00; Ivan Ocerin (Dominic Roberts) 66:00
Misconduct Summary: MENACE caution: Sean Dong 52:00; TB caution: Dominic Roberts 51:00
Stats Summary: MENACE / TB
Shots: 6 / 14
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 7
Fouls: 15 / 10
Offside: 5 / 1
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Entering its 21st season, the Menace men’s side competes in the 64-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL). The Menace’s women’s team played in the 2013 Women’s Premier Soccer League playoffs, 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.
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