Photo credit: Antonio Rodriguez
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tuesday, July 14, 2015 – A spot in the Premier Development League Playoffs? Check.
Another Heartland Division championship? That’s next on the Des Moines Menace’s checklist.
By defeating the Springfield Synergy 2-0 tonight at Cooper Complex, the Menace has punched its return ticket to the postseason. Needing at least one more win to repeat as division champ, first-place Des Moines (9-2-1) hosts Chicago Fire U23 this Friday and Saturday.
“We’re happy,” Menace head coach Mike Matkovich said. “One goal down, and the next goal is to get the division title. A good team effort tonight, and I think this shows our depth, our character and our team spirit.”
The Menace has qualified for consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since winning the PDL title in 2005 and getting back to the playoffs in 2006. With its 13th playoff berth locked up, the Menace has a shot at the franchise’s first back-to-back division titles.
“We’re going to go after it,” said Matkovich. “We’ve had good fan support all year, and it would be nice to make it happen in front of the home crowd.”
Garet Christianson and Brett Lane scored tonight for the Menace, which has won six straight – one less than the franchise mark set in 2004.
Christianson, who played for Springfield last season, scored the game-winner against his former team. In the 36th minute, he calmly converted a penalty kick that was the result of Nick Jones being brought down in the box.
Three days after grabbing a goal and an assist in a 4-1 home win over St. Louis, Leigh Veidman assisted Lane’s textbook volley in the 51st minute.
Des Moines padded its season-series win against Springfield. With a 3-0-1 advantage, the Menace retains the Kum & Go Kup travelling trophy these teams introduced last year.
Following eight losing seasons as the Demize, the Springfield organization rebranded itself this past offseason. Though denied a winning season, the new-look Synergy closes at 5-6-3, the best finish in franchise history. The team was 5-2-0 at home, with five straight wins bookended by losses at the hands of the Menace to start (1-0 on May 16) and end the season.
MAN of the MATCH: Brett Lane, for his work on both sides of the field. Lane, a center-back who has two goals in his first season with the Menace, is a native of Peoria, Ill., and a student-athlete at Southern Illinois – Edwardsville.
UP NEXT: The playoff-bound Menace wraps up the regular season with a pivotal Friday-Saturday doubleheader against Chicago Fire U23. Friday is Fireworks Night and Saturday is Fan Appreciation Night, with both matches starting at 7:30.
Des Moines’ postseason will begin Friday, July 24 in the Central Conference Playoffs, at a site to be determined.
Match: Des Moines Menace at Springfield Synergy FC
Date: Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Cooper Complex (turf) in Springfield, Mo.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: Upper 80s, humid and partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 1 1 2
SPR 0 0 0
MENACE – Garet Christianson PK 36:00; Brett Lane (Leigh Veidman) 51:00
Stats Summary: MENACE / SPR
Shots: 5 / 5
Saves: 5 / 1
Corner Kicks: 7 / 5
Fouls: 16 / 17
Offside: 3 / 0
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, part of the 80-team Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL), has completed its fourth season. 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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