Photo credit: Antonio Rodriguez
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, June 4, 2016 – One streak continues, and another ends for the Des Moines Menace.
A scoreless draw with Kokomo Mantis FC tonight at Valley Stadium keeps alive the Menace’s 17-match home unbeaten streak. It also concludes the team’s string of 10 wins in the regular season.
Both sides remain undefeated after entering the match with identical 2-0-0 records atop the Heartland Division. This was the teams’ first meeting, and the first road match for the Premier Development League expansion team from Indiana.
“At least we didn’t give away the three points,” said captain Sean Hoek. “We definitely would have liked to come away with the win, but that didn’t happen. The PDL season comes at you real fast, so we pick and choose what we can learn from this one, and we move forward.”
Each side had opportunities to break the defensive stalemate, and their goalkeepers rose to the occasion.
Perhaps the Menace’s best scoring chance came in the 49th minute. From the top of the 18-yard box, Devyn Jambga chipped the ball over his defender and, after one bounce, volleyed a close-range rocket that KokoMantis keeper Kyle Ihn snagged in reflex for one of his five saves.
Menace goalkeeper Nico Campbell and his defense put the clamps on an aggressive attack led by Xhovanni Dokaj, who was a hat-trick hero in Kokomo’s last outing. Campbell – like Dokaj, a member of the current PDL Team of the Week – made seven saves in his second shutout of the regular season.
After playing two home matches in the span of four days, Mike Matkovich’s Menace heads to Canada next week for three games in five days – June 11-12 at Thunder Bay and June 14 at WSA Winnipeg.
On Wednesday, the Menace’s bid for a fourth-round match with Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo came up short in a 2-1 loss to San Antonio FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Entering tonight, the Menace’s last regular-season loss was June 19, 2015 (2-0 at Thunder Bay).
Des Moines’ last regular-season home loss was July 13, 2013 (2-1 to Real Colorado).
In his Menace debut, second-half sub Tommy Barlow notched a game-high three shots.
Kokomo hosts Des Moines in a July 1-2 doubleheader.
MAN of the MATCH: Austin Bergstrom for his air-tight defense in the shutout. Bergstrom, a native of Cedar Rapids, attends Ohio State. His cousin, Tucker Sindlinger, played for the 2006-09 Menace.
UP NEXT: Des Moines’ next home action is June 18 against the St. Louis Lions. The Menace heads north of the border for three matches in the span of five days – June 11-12 in Thunder Bay and June 14 in Winnipeg.
Match: Kokomo Mantis FC at Des Moines Menace
Date: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Valley Stadium (turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 60s, overcast
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 0 0 0
KMFC 0 0 0
MENACE CAUTION: Devyn Jambga 23:00
KMFC CAUTIONS: Mattin Najafi 29:00; Hugo Magainaes 43:00; Jason Svenson 90:00+
MENACE / KMFC
Saves: 7 / 5
Corner Kicks: 9 / 7
Fouls: 14 / 10
Offside: 6 / 6
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. The Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL) and is set to begin its 23rd season in 2016. Starting their fifth season this year, the Menace women’s team is part of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). With loyal support, the Menace men’s and women’s teams play their home games at the 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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