Kaylin Swart, Danielle Puddefoot and Gabby DiDio (left to right) shared their time before coaching Menace Camp on Tuesday, July 7 at Aliber Soccer Complex in Des Moines. Photo credit: Aaron Wylie
With the World Cup buzz settling down after the United States women beat Japan 5-2 in a goal-scoring showcase on Sunday, Des Moines Menace internationals Kaylin Swart, Danielle Puddefoot and Gabby DiDio offered their favorite moments from this summer’s world tournament.
Swart, a Menace goalkeeper and South African national team member, was pleased with Australia’s performance, noting how enjoyable it was to be able to cheer for the underdogs.
The Australian women were able to grab a 1-1 tie against Sweden on June 12 and a big 1-0 win against Brazil on June 21. Their run ended on June 27 in the quarterfinals, where World Cup finalist Japan scored a heartbreaking 87th-minute goal to push past the Aussies.
“All the surprises makes it so much more exciting,” Swart said. “I was ecstatic when Australia came out of nowhere and made it as far as they did. Those kinds of runs are what give the tournament its magic.”
A Menace midfielder, Puddefoot didn’t hesitate to show her support for her native England. Showing unwavering loyalty to the Lionesses, Puddefoot backed England’s performances during the tournament, saying they held their own against the giants of the World Cup.
Before being ousted 2-1 by Japan in the semifinals, England won four straight matches with a 2-1 score-line, edging past Mexico, Colombia, Norway, and Canada. On the fourth of July, England battled Germany to finish in third place with a 1-0 victory.
“England beating Germany was a high point for me. Everyone knew coming in that the spotlight was going to be on No. 1 Germany and No. 2 United States. It’s always nice when you can take down the big dogs. On a side note, Lady Andrade from Colombia was fun to watch throughout the tournament.”
Hailing from host-country Canada, Menace defender Gabby DiDio stands by her home roots, but she also found a new team to root for.
“Carli Lloyd scoring three goals for the U.S. against Japan in the final was surreal. You don’t see that too often. She showed up and had the game of her life. It obviously would’ve been nice to see Canada bring home some silverware, but Christine Sinclair and the girls will get it next time.”
Another Menace trio also joined the World Cup action. Ashlie Stokes, Chelsie Stokes, and Katie Hurd made a trip to Winnipeg to catch a few games before driving back to Iowa to play in a match of their own.
Going straight from the car to the field, the three Menace ladies helped Des Moines to a 6-1 win against the Quad City Eagles on June 13 – only 24 hours after watching the United States and Sweden battle to a scoreless draw.
“The World Cup was an unbelievable experience,” said Ashlie Stokes. “They are such a fun and talented group of players to watch and to learn from. Carli Lloyd winning the Golden Ball and Hope Solo winning the Golden Glove award was just icing on the cake for the Americans.”
The Menace women plan to carry all the excitement of the World Cup into their last two matches of the season. The Menace hosts Fire and Ice SC at 4:30 on Saturday in its last home match. The team closes the season the next day, taking on the Minnesota TwinStars in a 4 o’clock road match.
This story was written by Menace intern Aaron Wylie and posted on Wednesday, July 8, 2015.