THUNDER BAY, Ontario, Canada – June 13, 2009 – Halfway through its regular season, the Des Moines Menace is undefeated, after some of the team’s newest additions made the difference in tonight’s 3-1 triumph over the Thunder Bay Chill at Chapples Park.
With the win against the defending Premier Development League champions, the Menace is 4-0-4 and riding a 12-match unbeaten streak that goes back to last July. The victory also snaps a string of four straight ties, including a 1-1 result last night against the Chill.
Des Moines received key contributions from two players who were added to the roster this week – Armin Mujdzic and Garrett Webb – and two team members – Stefan De Las and Yuki Kariya – who had each seen action in only one 2009 PDL match prior to this weekend.
Mujdzic, who played for the Menace from 2003-2007, has made an instant impact since head coach Casey Mann invited him to return to the team. After assisting Samuel Asante last night, he set up De Las for the game-winner tonight, shortly after entering the match in the 55th minute.* The veteran and former Grand View College standout added the icing on the cake when he connected on a penalty kick in the 80th minute.
(*Correction: Armin Mujdzic should be credited for the second goal in the 55th minute instead of Stefan De Las)
Webb spotted the Menace a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute. Kariya assisted Webb, who was the leading scorer for the nationally ranked Drake Bulldogs last fall.
The Menace held the one-goal lead until the Chill knotted things up with a PK 12 minutes into the second half. Des Moines answered four minutes later, when De Las put the visitors up for good in the 61st minute.
After tying and beating the Chill here a year ago, the Menace has earned eight points in its last four road battles with its arch-rival.
The Menace improves to 2-0-3 on the road this year and has an 11-match unbeaten streak away from Valley Stadium. Des Moines’ last road loss was a 2-0 setback at Colorado on May 23, 2008.
This is the first win for the Menace since May 16, when it edged Real Colorado at home.
After ending last year’s title run with a 17-2-2 mark, the Chill is 2-2-2 to start its hunt for a third-straight Heartland Division title. Thunder Bay tied and lost its season-opening matches at Real Colorado two weeks ago.
The Menace-Chill rivalry continues in three weeks, with an Independence Day showdown at Valley Stadium that comes exactly one year after the Chill blanked the Menace on the same field. Des Moines has not lost since that 3-0 decision.
COMING UP: Des Moines returns to action next Saturday (June 20), when it hosts the Kansas City Brass. 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.
The Menace will be at Valley Stadium each of the next five Saturdays to close the regular season. All 2009 home matches kick off at 7:30 p.m.