Through three perfect runs in the Iowa State Cup, the Menace Academy U15 boys are 15-0.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, Nov. 7, 2014 – Back-to-back-to-back championships are few and far between. Wearing a huge bull’s eye, the Menace Academy U15 boys have accomplished this rare feat, three-peating as Iowa State Cup winners.
Led by head coach Tomas Boltnar, the Menace U15s have come out on top of their first three runs in the Iowa Soccer Association’s annual tournament (for U13-U18 teams). They earned championships the last two springs, racking up a 23-4 scoring advantage as U13s and a 29-2 margin as U14s.
This time around, the team outscored the opposition 18-3, the past three weekends at Tuma Soccer Complex in Marion. The three-time champions carry a perfect mark in 15 State Cup matches.
The Menace Red team began its title defense with a cup opener against intra-club competition. On Oct. 18, Menace Red was knotted in a scoreless halftime against Menace Black. The top club broke through with four second-half scores.
“The first half of the first game, our black team played us harder than any other team at State Cup. They created better chances then anyone we played against,” said Boltnar, who is assisted by Andy Schryver. “I am very proud of our black team at State Cup as well as the red.”
Holding its own in the tournament, Menace Black earned a scoreless draw (against Iowa Rush on Oct. 25) and lost to the eventual finalist, West Des Moines Soccer Club (3-0 on Oct. 19).
Menace Red punctuated its third state title with a 3-0 win over WDMSC on Nov. 2, one day after getting past Iowa City Alliance, 5-2.
In the final, WDMSC – a team that challenged Menace Red in a 2-0 result on Oct. 25 – threatened to strike first in the opening half. Goalkeeper Jake Vilez made a huge save, cutting the angle on a 1v1 threat. The championship match remained scoreless at halftime.
John Jaworski broke the draw with a left-footed, upper-90 blast from 25 yards out. Christian Tavera assisted Jaworski. Payne Hoyt iced the title with a pair of goals, scoring on a breakaway set up by Eddy Fernandes and sealing the deal late on an assist from Jordy Triana.
Boltnar called this a team effort by every player on Menace Red and Menace Black. Boltnar recognized these players:
- Payne Hoyt and Trevor Johnson stepped up in their first season with the team. Hoyt scored the two insurance goals in the final, and Johnson played the entire season after breaking an arm during opening weekend.
- Alex Montalvo and Julius Cooper supported the team even when they couldn’t step on the field. Montalvo, who was also new to the group this year, had a season-ending injury halfway through the season. Cooper had to sit out the whole season. Boltnar said they are both valuable players who will make an impact in the spring.
- Alex Meza was the backline leader of an airtight defense that recorded three shutouts and surrendered just three goals in five games. Goalkeeper Jake Vilez, John Jaworski, Fernando Mares, Edwin Garcia, Adnan Husic and Nick Schnack rose to the occasion.
- Ronaldo Enamorado was a consistent presence in the role of defensive center-midfielder; Roberto Yanqui and Isai Diaz shared time at left-mid and provided great effort in moving the ball.
- Eduardo Carrillo came into the semifinal after Eddy Fernandes went down with an injury. Soon after entering the match, Carrillo scored a terrific goal that put Menace Red up 2-0.
- Captains Nick Schnack and Alex Meza provided great leadership, on and off the field.
“I’m very happy for our players,” Boltnar said. “They have worked hard all year. They have done a great job stepping up for each other. As a coach I’m very proud of our team and I look forward to keep moving forward and keep challenging our team at the top MRL (Midwest Regional League) level where we will face a mix of the top Region II teams and some National Academy teams, as well.
In June, the Menace U15s will represent Iowa Soccer at the U.S. Youth Soccer Regionals in Appleton and De Pere, Wis.
The three-peat state champs have another title to their credit. Last month, they won the championship of the Alliance Premier League, which comprises the top youth teams in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.
ABOUT THE MENACE ACADEMY: The Des Moines Menace Youth Soccer Academy provides a fun and challenging soccer environment that allows players to grow as people and reach the best of their soccer abilities. The academy includes boys and girls teams ranging in age from U9 to U18. Players are from all over the Des Moines metro area, coming from diverse backgrounds. Academy members develop by learning skills and strategies at age-appropriate levels. Youth are exposed to the very best coaching and training on a consistent basis as they grow and mature.
The non-profit Menace Academy is part of the Des Moines Menace – Iowa’s premier men’s and women’s teams. The Menace promotes healthy lifestyles through popular youth programs that also include Junior Menace, camps, clinics and tournaments.