Leigh Veidman (20) gave the Menace an early lead it did not relinquish.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, June 27, 2015 – Entering this pivotal weekend at home, the Des Moines Menace knew a pair of wins would catapult the team from third place to first place in the Premier Development League’s Heartland Division.
The Menace rose to the challenge.
A night after downing the Springfield Synergy, 3-1, Des Moines dealt the Thunder Bay Chill its first loss of the season. With a 2-0 win tonight at Valley Stadium, the Menace (6-2-1, 19 points) leapfrogs the Chill (5-1-3, 18 points) and Chicago Fire U23 (5-2-2, 17 points) and grabs sole possession of the division lead.
“I’m happy for the guys,” said Menace head coach Mike Matkovich, who shuffled his starting lineup with nine changes from yesterday. “We’ve got a good group, I think you saw our depth tonight. The guys came through against a tough team.”
Leigh Veidman put the Chill on the ropes when he scored in the 12th minute, and Chris Hellmann delivered the knockout punch with a 63rd-minute penalty kick, as the Menace won this bout between PDL heavyweights. In the arch-rivals’ second and final meeting of 2015, the Menace preserved its all-time series lead (26-24-4).
The Chill ended the match – played eight days after their 2-0 home win over Des Moines – a man down. Following a confrontation with the Menace’s Fernando Machado, Dominic Roberts was ejected in the 37th minute.
“We knew what we had to do at the start of the game,” Veidman said. “We had the game plan, we stuck with it and it paid off. We were able to close them down.”
Daniel Alvarado came off his line and Veidman seized the opportunity, chipping Thunder Bay’s goalkeeper.
“At this level you don’t get many chances, so when the chances come you have to put them away,” Veidman said after his second goal of the season. ”It was a great feeling. I’m a striker and that’s my job. It’s certainly a big win for our team. Now the hard work begins.”
Coming off an all-league season, Hellmann collected his second PDL goal of 2015 and his fifth goal in six career matches against Thunder Bay. His PK was set up Garret Christianson, who was taken down after slicing between two defenders and into the 18-yard box.
Making his Menace PDL debut, goalie Andrew Putna needed to make just one save – it came late in the first half – to earn the shutout.
Riding a 12-match home unbeaten streak, the Menace is back atop the division for the first time since the close of the 2014 season (12-1-1).
“It’s temporary. We’ll take it,” Matkovich said of his team’s first-place standing. “It puts us in a good spot with five games left. It’s going to be a dog fight to the end. We’ll enjoy tonight and hit it hard tomorrow.”
The Menace is down to its last two road matches – July 5 at St. Louis and July 14 at Springfield. The team is back at Valley Stadium on July 11 against St. Louis and July 17-18 to close the season against Chicago.
MAN of the MATCH: Leigh Veidman, for his game-winning goal and his tireless work on both sides of the ball . Veidman is a native of Liverpool, England. He played for Iowa Western Community College, Texas-Brownsville and Bellevue (Neb.).
UP NEXT: The Menace heads to St. Louis on Independence Day, for a July 5 (Sunday) match against the Lions in St. Peters, Mo.
Match: Thunder Bay at Des Moines Menace
Date: Saturday, June 27, 2015
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Valley Stadium (turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 80s, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 1 1 2
TB 0 0 0
MENACE – Leigh Veidman 12:00; Chris Hellmann PK 63:00
Stats Summary: MENACE / TB
Shots: 13 / 3
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 18 / 12
Offside: 2 / 0
Misconduct Summary: TB cautions: Dominic Roberts 35:00; Roberts 37:00 (ejection); Pedro Adan 63;00; Sergio Campano Franco 65:00; Mitchell Osmond 74:00; MENACE cautions: Fernando Machado 37:00’ Leigh Veidman 57:00; C. Nortey 85:00; Javi Lopez 87:00
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. In 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, in 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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