Photo credit: Collin Hemann
ST. PETERS, Mo. – Saturday, June 13, 2015 – The goals were bound to come eventually.
They arrived in bunches today for the Des Moines Menace in a resounding 5-1 Premier Development League victory over the undermanned St. Louis Lions.
With their first goals of the PDL season, Chris Hellmann, Vince Cicciarelli and Matt Gweh spearheaded the scoring rampage for the goal-starved Menace at Tony Glavin Soccer Complex. Des Moines (3-1-1) had mustered just three goals in its first four matches.
“We’ve put ourselves in a good spot,” said Menace head coach Mike Matkovich, whose team bounced back from a 2-1 loss at Chicago on Tuesday. “We took our chances well. We’ve had chances and been missing them, so it’s nice to get some goals and get three points on the road.”
Exactly one minute into the match, Hellmann made sure his team would not be shut out by the Lions. An all-PDL selection last year when he scored nine goals, Hellmann used a spectacular finish to spot the Menace a lead it held until the 39th minute. Cicciarelli gave the visitors a two-goal halftime cushion, racking up back-to-back goals in the final two minutes of first-half regulation.
“We knew it was coming,” Cicciarelli said. “It’s starting to click, and it feels great. Hopefully, greater things are yet to come.”
Cicciarelli’s parents made the trip from Peoria. On his birthday, Scott Cicciarelli received a nice present from his son.
“It was nice to get a couple for my dad. Just glad to see my parents,” the Menace forward said. “I think this was a crucial win. It keeps us in the race. We never gave St. Louis a chance to get in any rhythm, and our defense keeps doing their job.”
Cicciarelli didn’t get a chance at a hat trick, as he turned an ankle right after his second score. Gweh subbed for him at halftime and made an immediate impact, scoring in the 47th minute.
Things quickly unraveled for the Lions, who are 1-4-1after finishing second to the Menace in the 2014 Heartland Division standings. The Lions surrendered an own goal in the 57th minute and one minute later, they went down a player when Trenton Thielfoldt was shown a red card for a rough tackle. The Menace controlled the match’s final third to stretch its unbeaten streak against the Lions to five (3-0-2).
MAN of the MATCH: Vince Cicciarelli, a recent Notre Dame graduate who will play his final college season this fall for the St. Louis Billikens.
UP NEXT: CANADIAN ROAD TRIP
Des Moines takes on the Thunder Bay Chill on June 19 and faces WSA Winnipeg on June 21.
UPCOMING HOME ACTION
The Menace will be back at Valley Stadium for an action-packed Friday-Saturday doubleheader.On June 26, the Menace hosts the Springfield Synergy, and fans wearing red get $5 for this Kum & Go Kup clash. On June 27, the Menace battles the arch-rival Thunder Bay Chill in the nightcap of a tripleheader that opens with the Iowa High School All-Star Games (girls at 2:30 and boys at 4:30).
Match: Des Moines Menace at St. Louis Lions
Date: Saturday, June 13, 2015
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Tony Glavin Soccer Complex (grass) in St. Peters, Mo.
Kickoff: 5 p.m. CDT
Weather: 90s, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 3 2 5
StL 1 0 1
MENACE – Chris Hellmann 1:00; Vince Cicciarelli (Chris Bales) 44:00; Cicciarelli 45:00; Matt Gweh 47:00
StL – Vadim Cojocov 39:00; Jongyhun Son own goal 57:00
Stats Summary: MENACE / StL
Shots: 9 / 9
Saves: 5 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 12
Offside: 2 / 2
Misconduct Summary: StL ejection: Trenton Thielfoldt 58:00; StL caution: Jacob Cawsey 61:00; Menace caution: Javi Lopez 29:00
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.
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