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I-80 Derby opens WPSL season

The Menace women, shown in their May 18 training session at Valley Stadium, start the 2016 season on the road. Photo credit: Lindsay Stoner
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, May 26, 2016 – An instate battle commences the fifth season of Des Moines Menace women’s soccer.
The Menace travels to Davenport tomorrow to face the Quad City Eagles for a matchup of Interstate-80 rivals looking to rebound from down seasons. Quad City (4-6-0) finished one point ahead of Des Moines (3-5-2) in the 2015 Women’s Premier Soccer League standings.
Second-year Menace head coach Justin Vorster likes what he says in this year’s 30-player roster.
“The chemistry of the squad is very positive. It’s a new blend of returning and new players,” Vorster said. “The girls are starting to believe in the system that we’re putting out there. They are trusting the coaching staff and working really hard, and they are eager to get into the game on Friday.”
The last time the Menace and the Eagles faced off, Vorster’s 2015 crew rolled to a 6-1 triumph that followed a scoreless first half on June 13. That was the season highlight for Des Moines, which scored seven goals in the season’s other nine matches. It was the Menace’s only victory between wins against Minnesota to open and close the schedule.
A June 4 date with the Kansas City Courage will open the Menace ladies’ slate of six home matches.

Des Moines Menace at Quad City Eagles

Date and time: Friday, May 27 at 5 p.m. CDT
Venue: Davenport Soccer Complex in Davenport, Iowa (grass field)
Competition: Women’s Premier Soccer League regular season

  • Finished last season 3-5-2, fourth of six teams in the WPSL Heartland Region.
  • Enters its fifth season with an all-time record of 23-13-2.
  • Led by second-year head coach Justin Vorster, who is assisted by Alex Fonseca, John “Shedzy” Sheridan and Ross Galbraith.
  • Danielle Puddefoot led the 2015 team with four goals, and fellow returners Nicole Pearson and Elise Reid scored two goals apiece.
  • Also back are fifth-year veterans Jordan Bishop and Carlan Samuelson, and fourth-year vet Haley Helverson (who led the 2014 Menace with six goals).
  • Finished last season 4-6-0 (third place), losing six of their last seven matches after a 3-0-0 start.
  • Jon Mannall directs the Eagles for his fourth season.
  • Roster includes Rose Ripslinger, an Iowa Hawkeye who was a four-time Iowa Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year in her decorated career at Davenport Assumption (2011-14).
  • Des Moines and Quad City are tied 2-2-0 in a series that began in 2013 and took a break the next season, when the Eagles took a year off from WPSL play.
  • The Menace has outscored the Eagles, 8-5.
  • In 2015, the Menace lost 2-0 in Davenport on May 31 (with the Eagles’ goals coming from Ashley Dexter), but rebounded with a 6-1 win on June 13 at Cownie Soccer Park.
  • In 2013, the Menace and the Eagles split a pair, with the road team finishing on top each time. Following a 2-1 loss at home two weeks prior, the Menace clinched a WPSL Playoff berth with a 1-0 victory (thanks to Jordan Bishop’s goal) on July 6.
  • Formed in 1998, the WPSL has over 100 teams across the United States.
  • Its main focus is on the development of highly competitive premier women’s soccer teams.
  • Des Moines plays in the Heartland Region along with the Quad City Eagles, Chicago Red Stars Reserves, Kansas City Courage and Minnesota TwinStars.
  • On June 4, the Menace welcomes the Kansas City Courage to Valley Stadium.
  • All of the Menace ladies’ home games at Valley Stadium start at 4:30 p.m. as part of doubleheaders capped by the Menace men’s team playing at 7:30.
Des Moines Menace 2016 WPSL Schedule
Friday, May 27              at Quad City Eagles                        5 p.m. at Davenport Soccer Complex
Saturday, June 4         Kansas City Courage                    4:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, June 11          at Minnesota TwinStars                   4 p.m. at Hopkins High School Stadium
Friday, June 24            WSA Winnipeg                              4:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, June 25        WSA Winnipeg                              4:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 2             at Chicago Red Stars Reserves        3 p.m. at Oak Brook Polo Fields
Saturday, July 9           Quad City Eagles                           4:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Sunday, July 10             at Kansas City Courage                   4 p.m. at College Boulevard Athletic Complex
Saturday, July 16         Chicago Red Stars Reserves        4:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Sunday, July 17           Minnesota TwinStars                     4:30 p.m. at Grimes Sports Complex        
All game times are central 
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Starting their fifth season this year, the Menace women’s team is part of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). The Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL) and is set to begin its 23rd season in 2016. With loyal support, the Menace men’s and women’s teams play their home games at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines to provide family fun entertainment. The Menace organization provides the growth of the game of soccer in Iowa with their youth soccer programs including Junior Menace (ages 3-9), Menace Youth Academy (ages 10+) and other various youth tournaments, camps and clinics.

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