The 2015 Menace rode a franchise-record eight-game winning streak into the franchise's 13th appearance in the PDL Playoffs.
Looking to put the Des Moines Menace’s 2015 in a nutshell, we look to the numbers to tell part of the story.
Here’s a numerical summary of a summer highlighted by high-scoring performances
and successful streaks that carried the Menace organization to new heights.
A first for the organization: The Menace Academy U15 boys reached the finals of the 2015 United States Youth Soccer Region II Tournament.
New head coaches: Mike Matkovich (men) and Justin Vorster (women) led their Menace teams for the first season.
Goals by Danielle Puddefoot in the second half of a season-closing win over Minnesota on July 12. Her goals came 12 minutes apart, late in the second half of this 3-0 victory.
Premier Development League Heartland Division titles the Menace has earned, after repeating as division champ for the first time in franchise history.
Losses for the Menace women – two of which came to the eventual Women’s Premier Soccer League champions, the Chicago Red Stars Reserves (4-0 and 2-0).
Goals racked up by the Menace women in a second-half scoring outburst on June 13. At Cownie Soccer Park, Des Moines busted open a scoreless halftime draw, rolling to a 6-1 win over instate foe Quad City. The goals came from Nicole Pearson (two), Carlan Samuelson, Ashlie Stokes, Sammy Fegen and Yaritza Estrada.
Goals allowed by the Menace – second best in the 63-team PDL (Kitsap Pumas).
Winning streak – breaking the franchise mark of seven, set in 2004 – to close the Menace’s regular season.
Shutouts recorded by the Menace PDL team. A shout-out for the shutouts by the Menace’s tenacious D and goalies Paul Blanchette (four shutouts), Nico Campbell (three) and Andrew Putna (two, in two games played).
A Menace record for goals, set in a you-had-to-be-there-to-believe-it display on July 17 at Valley Stadium. On Fireworks Night, the Menace’s explosive, 10-0, win over Chicago Fire U23 cemented the team’s repeat as division champion. Hat-trick hero Chris Hellmann led the scoring parade, Vince Cicciarelli opened the scoring parade with two goals in the early going, and Trevor Swartz closed it with two goals in the second half.
The franchise’s berths in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. With its top division finish this year, Des Moines has already secured a spot in next year’s national tournament. In its 10th Open Cup appearance, the 2015 Menace won 2-1 over the visiting Madison Fire on May 13; a week later, the Menace was ousted in OT by Saint Louis FC, also by a 2-1 count.
Goals the Menace women scored in the second half this season – 11 more than they scored in the first half.
Playoff appearances for the Menace – second to only one PDL team, Michigan (18).
Goals by the Menace U15 boys in their run to the championship match of the US Youth Soccer Region II Tournament. On June 24 in Wisconsin, the Menace’s title hopes were ended by eventual national champion Sporting Kansas City, which won 3-1.
Home unbeaten streak for the Menace PDL team. Des Moines has enjoyed two straight undefeated seasons at Valley Stadium’s friendly confines.
Years since the Menace’s last losing season. The Menace women finished 3-5-2 – the first sub-.500 campaign for the organization since the Menace men went 7-9-0 in 1999.
Returning players for the Menace men (10) and women (12). Five-year veteran Charlie Bales was the most seasoned returner, with teammate Javi Lopez and women’s players Jordan Bishop, Jenna Richins and Carlan Samuelson all back for their fourth seasons in the red and black.
The Menace’s Premier Development League wins in the last two years (23-3-2) – tops in the league.
Also, wins in the Menace ladies’ first four seasons (23-13-2)
Days between goals for the Menace women, in a scoring drought that spanned five matches and 405 minutes.
Goal differential for the Menace PDL team (38-7, including 23-2 at home)
Point total for the 11-2-1 Menace – four points ahead of second-place Thunder Bay in the Heartland Division standings.
Minutes the Menace held the lead against eventual PDL champion K-W United FC on July 24 in Pontiac, Mich. In a Central Conference semifinal rematch, the Menace struck first when Chris Hellmann scored on a 17th-minute wonder-goal. The lead lasted until the Canadian club went up with goals from Sergio Campano in the 53rd and 56th minutes. K-W’s Ben Polk scored in the 87th minute to close a 3-2 win.
Points for Chris Hellmann the last two PDL seasons (25 on nine goals and seven assists last year; 16 this year on six goals and four assists).
Goals scored by the Menace in the all-time series against Springfield Synergy FC – our Kum & Go Kup rival. Des Moines kept the kup in 2015, with a 3-0-1 series win. Des Moines has outscored Springfield 49-8, leading the series 19-2-2.
All-time meetings in a series between the Menace and arch-rival Thunder Bay that began in 2000. The adversaries split a pair of 2-0 decisions in 2015, preserving the Menace’s series lead at 26-24-4.
In years, the combined age of 2015 Menace newcomers Mark Heath Preston and Leigh Veidman, seasoned PDL vets who made the most of their time on the field. Overcoming an early-season injury, Heath Preston scored five goals in 209 minutes spanning seven matches; Veidman, a late roster addition, had three goals and two assists in seven regular-season outings, and he scored the second-half equalizer in the Menace’s playoff loss.
Teams in the Premier Development League in 2015.
Teams in the Women’s Premier Soccer League in 2015
The Menace’s all-time meetings with current members of the Heartland Division. Des Moines is 74-35-19 against this group, with the only losing mark here coming against Chicago Fire U23 (3-4-2).
Wins – a franchise milestone set in a season-opening win at Springfield on May 16. Through 22 seasons, the Menace’s all-time mark is 210-115-33.
Boys and girls, ages three to 14, who attended Menace camps and clinics led by Menace players this summer.
In minutes, the shutout streak the Menace defense posted to start the PDL season.
In minutes, the Menace’s shutout streak to close the PDL season.
Team-leading minutes total logged by captain John Lujano in 10 PDL matches this season. Reflecting the depth of this year’s lineup, this number highlights the first time in the team’s recorded history that not one team member joined the 1,000-minute club.
Approximate roundtrip miles Menace teammates Katie Hurd, Ashlie Stokes and Chelsie Stokes travelled to see the United States compete in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In Winnipeg on June 12, the Menace trio was part of the crowd at a scoreless draw between the U.S. and Sweden. 24 hours later, Hurd and the Stokes sisters featured in a 6-1 home win over Quad City….And, in Vancouver on July 5, the U.S. women regained their status as world champions, captivating a worldwide audience in a 5-2 romp over Japan.
Thank you to the growing number of Menace fans who are part of our shared mission to grow soccer in our community!