Ricky Hoegg (20) evened this match with his fourth goal of the season. Photo credit: Joe Sprunger
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Down a goal, the Des Moines Menace wasn’t about to finish the regular season with anything but a victory.
Super subs Ricky Hoegg and Tommy Barlow scored in the 64th and 68th minutes, lifting the Menace past the St. Louis Lions, 2-1 tonight at Valley Stadium. The Menace, which entered this weekend as the three-peat champion of the Heartland Division, carries a 10-2-2 mark into the Premier Development League Playoffs.
Hoegg’s equalizer came on a free kick following a yellow card on the Lions’ Ryan Kennedy. From just outside the 18-yard box, Hoegg – a halftime entry – sent a left-footed laser into the upper-90, beyond the reach of St. Louis goalie Casey Clark.
“Tonight was just my night – it went in,” said Hoegg, who added that he has been spending extra time taking kicks from this spot. The extra practice paid off.
“It’s like Steph Curry shooting threes. As soon as he shoots it, he knows it’s going in,” Hoegg said. “That’s how I felt tonight. As soon as I hit it and saw it go over the wall, I knew it was going in. I knew there was no way the ‘keeper was getting it.”
Barlow once again delivered when called upon. A week after his last-minute goal gave the Menace a 1-1 home draw with Thunder Bay, Barlow entered tonight’s match in the 58th minute. Ten minutes later, Barlow barreled down the right side, beat his defender to create a 1v1 duel with Clark, and found the net’s bottom left corner for his seventh goal of the season.
Following a scoreless first half, the Lions scored less than three minutes into the second stanza. Carson Pryor’s goal seemed to wake up the Menace, which responded by seizing control of this chippy match.
Along with PDL regular-season champ Michigan, K-W United and Thunder Bay, the Menace prepares for the PDL Central Conference’s championship weekend. Des Moines general manager Matt Homonoff has submitted a bid to host the playoff action this coming Friday and Saturday.
“Hopefully, it’s here, so that we have this crowd that’s been here behind us all season,” Hoegg said of the playoffs. “If we have to travel, we’ll do it the hard way. We definitely want to bring the second star to Des Moines.”
Des Moines and Michigan finish the season tied for fewest goals allowed – seven.
This is the Menace’s third straight year conceding seven goals. The team scored 31 goals in 2014, 38 in 2015 and 37 this year.
The Menace is undefeated in 10 straight meetings with the Lions.
St. Louis finishes the season 2-8-4.
Des Moines is undefeated in 22 straight regular-season home matches, starting with a 3-3 draw with St. Louis to close the 2013 season.
After not trailing even once in the team's first nine PDL matches (8-0-1), the Menace has fallen behind in four of its five fixtures (2-2-1). This was the first time the 2016 Menace won a PDL match whose first goal was scored by the other side.
The Menace makes its 14th postseason appearance. The team last hosted the PDL Playoffs in 2014. The star in the Menace logo is from the franchise’s 2005 PDL championship.
MAN of the MATCH: Ricky Hoegg, for his fourth goal of the season. The Florida native and Missouri State student-athlete is back in Des Moines, after his 2015 season here was cut short by a hip injury.
UP NEXT: Playoff time! Stay tuned at MenaceSoccer.com and our social-media sites.
Match: St. Louis Lions at Des Moines Menace
Date: Saturday, July 16, 2016
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Valley Stadium (turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 0 2 2
StL 0 1 1
MENACE: Ricky Hoegg 64:00; Tommy Barlow 68:00
StL: Carson Pryor (Udi Cohen) 48:00
MENACE CAUTIONS: Ryan Masch 15:00; Devin Jambga 56:00
StL CAUTIONS: Dylan Cassidy 50:00; Ryan Kennedy 64:00; Callum Doyle 82:00
MENACE / StL
Shots: 17 / 9
Saves: 5 / 9
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 11 / 13
Offside: 0 / 0
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. In its 23rd season, the Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL). In its fifth season, 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 six and older), and youth tournaments, camps and clinics.
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