Nicole Pearson (16) has notched a brace in each of the Menace's last two instate battles.
DAVENPORT, Iowa – Friday, May 27, 2016 – Maybe the Des Moines Menace’s only instate rivalry brings out the best in Nicole Pearson and her teammates.
Starting the Women’s Premier Soccer League season on the right foot, the Menace shut out the Quad City Eagles, 4-0, at Davenport Soccer Complex tonight. Like she did the last time these teams met, Pearson collected a couple goals in a decisive victory.
Pearson, who led the scoring parade in a 6-1 home win over the Eagles last June 13, struck 23 minutes into this match and 23 minutes later, in the early moments of the second half.
Newcomers provided the Menace’s other goals. Hannah Evans opened the scoring in the 19th minute, and Pearson assisted Sarah Brandt in the 34th.
“A great way to start the season,” said Pearson. “Hopefully this is a platform to expand on for the rest of the season.”
The Menace defense stood its ground, containing the Eagles with a 4-4-2 formation that allowed the visitors to connect on repeated sequences of short, crisp passes.
Second-year goalkeeper Nicole Inskeep earned the shutout. In a game-changing moment, she rose to the occasion in the 14th minute, saving a 1v1 breakaway opportunity.
“Hats off to our defense and keeper for keeping the clean sheet,” Pearson said. “That gave us the confidence to go forward and score a few goals.”
Tonight’s victory gives Justin Vorster's team a 3-2 series lead. The teams split in 2013, when the second-year Menace joined the WPSL. After not fielding a team in 2014, the resurrected Eagles downed the visiting Menace 2-0 on May 31 last year.
In the next leg of this Interstate 80 Derby, Quad City comes to Valley Stadium on July 9 in the second-to-last weekend of the WPSL season.
The Menace has already tripled the first-half scoring total of last year’s team, which scored just once before halftime in a 3-5-2 season.
Following a 3-0-0 start to last season, Quad City has lost seven of its eight matches.
Of the Menace’s five seasons, four have started with a victory; the team’s only opening-day setback came in 2013 (3-0 at Kansas City Shock on May 26).
Milestone Watch: Des Moines's next win will be the team's 25th; the Menace women are 24-13-2 all-time.
WOMAN of the MATCH: Nicole Pearson, a Simpson graduate and Urbandale native in her third season with the Menace. Her five-point match is a Menace career-high. She has already matched her goal total for each of her two previous Menace seasons.
UP NEXT: The Menace ladies host the Kansas City Courage next Saturday (June 4) on Youth Soccer Night at Valley Stadium. Youth-soccer players in their team uniforms get in for only $1. The Menace’s Premier Development League team hosts Kokomo Mantis FC in a nightcap. For Menace home doubleheaders, the price of admission gets fans in for both games.
Match: Des Moines Menace at Quad City Eagles
Date: Friday, May 27, 2016
Competition: Women’s Premier Soccer League regular season
Venue: Davenport Soccer Complex (grass) in Davenport, Iowa
Kickoff: 5 p.m. CDT
Weather: 70s, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 3 1 4
QC 0 0 0
MENACE – Hannah Evans 19:00; Nicole Pearson 23:00; Sarah Brandt (Pearson) 34:00; Pearson 46:00
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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