WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, May 30, 2015 – Three matches into the Premier Development League season, the Des Moines Menace has yet to allow a goal.
Unfortunately, the Menace has scored just twice in PDL play. After opening with a pair of 1-0 victories the last two Saturdays, Des Moines (2-0-1) had its chances tonight at Valley Stadium against the Springfield Synergy in what ended as the Menace’s first scoreless draw since June 5, 2010 at Real Colorado.
“We wanted the three points (rewarded for a win), but we got the clean sheet, and clean sheets are always a good thing,” said Menace defender Austin Gochneaur. “We just need to finish our runs in the box.”
The match – the second leg of the Kum & Go Kup series between these teams – was a battle of the midfield. The defenses stood their ground, and neither goalkeeper (Des Moines’ Paul Blanchette and Springfield’s Yuta Nomura) was called into much action.
Nomura, an all-Central Conference selection a year ago, rose to the occasion in the 53rd minute, when the Menace’s Gerald Ben blasted shot to the near post. Diving to his right, Nomura acrobatically deflected Ben’s attempt.
The Menace’s best opportunity came in the 88th minute. Five minutes after subbing in, Matt Gweh collected a hot-potato ball three yards from the goal. In a 1v1 with Nomura, Gweh took a touch and was unable to take advantage of the opportunity, as his shot sailed through the field-goal post.
Entering tonight, the Menace carried an 8-1-0 mark (and a 36-3 scoring advantage) in home matches against Springfield. In the battle for the second-annual Kum & Go Kup, the teams meet two more times this season: back here on June 26 and in Missouri on July 14.
Mike Matkovich’s Menace hosts the Muskegon Risers next Saturday before hitting the road for four straight matches.
MAN of the MATCH: Austin Gochneaur, for going the distance in the shutout. The bearded defender is a native of Ankeny and a student-athlete at Western Illinois.
UP NEXT: The Menace hosts the Muskegon Risers next Saturday (June 6) on Youth Soccer Night at Valley Stadium. Youth-soccer players and coaches get in for just a dollar when they wear their team shirt to the game.
Match: Springfield Synergy at Des Moines Menace
Date: Saturday, May 30, 2015
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 0 0 0
SPR 0 0 0
Stats Summary: MENACE / SPR
Shots: 10 / 10
Saves: 6 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 9 / 10
Offside: 6 / 2
Misconduct Summary: No cautions or ejections
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Entering its 22nd season, the Menace men’s side competes in the 63-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL). The Menace’s women’s team, preparing for its fourth season, is part of the 80-team Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). From May to July, 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.
FOLLOW THE MENACE: