The Menace comes home with its first point in four road matches against the Chicago Red Stars Reserves. Photo credit: Hugo Macedo
OAK BROOK, Ill. – Saturday, July 8, 2017 – Today’s 1-1 draw with the Chicago Red Stars Reserves keeps the Des Moines Menace women in second place and sets the stage for the teams’ rematch next weekend. Heading into the final days of the Women’s Premier Soccer League season, the Menace is 3-1-2 (11 points), a point ahead of Chicago (3-2-1).
Des Moines is down to its last two matches: Saturday against Chicago at Valley Stadium and Sunday against the GSI Pride – the Heartland Region’s top team, with a 6-0-0 record – at Urbandale Soccer Complex.
The Menace’s first road point against the Red Stars was a carbon-copy of the teams’ previous meeting. On July 16 last year, Des Moines earned its first home point against Chicago. Both matches ended in 1-1 stalemates after the Menace held a halftime lead.
The first score this afternoon came from Chicagoland native Rececca Rodgers. In the 34th minute, she got her foot on a cross pass from Jermaine Seoposenwe.
“Everyone was excited when we got that goal,” Menace head coach Justin Vorster said. “We applied a lot of pressure and we had some chances. We thought the goal was coming.”
Des Moines’ second goal didn’t come, and the Menace is still hunting for its first victory in a series that started in 2014.
In the 80th minute, Chicago found the equalizer in a goal-mouth scramble. After the Menace cleared a free kick from the line, Alexis Pelafas poked in the loose ball to even the match.
“I thought, going on the road, we were the better team today,” Vorster said. “I’m happy with how we played, and I we’re going to be prepared for the matches next weekend. It’s just a matter of preparation; We just got to finish strong.”
- Updated July 9: Rebecca Rodgers scored for the Menace; in the original story, this goal was incorrectly credited to Karly Stuenkel.
- This is Rodgers' team-best fifth goal of the season.
- The Menace is 0-5-2 all-time against Chicago.
- This was the Menace’s first action since June 21 (a 2-0 win at Minnesota).
- An offside call in the 20th minute negated what looked like a Jermaine Seoposenwe goal set up by Whitney Sharpe.
- Chicago goal scorer Alexis Telafas is a Central Michigan teammate of the Menace’s McKay Matheson.
- Des Moines finishes its road schedule with a 2-1-1 record.
WOMAN of the MATCH: Karly Stuenkel, for covering lots of midfield territory in her Menace debut. Stuenkel – a native of St. Charles, Ill. – was the Iowa Hawkeyes’ 2016 Offensive Player of the Year and Co-MVP.
UP NEXT: The Menace concludes the season with a pair of home matches next weekend – Saturday against Chicago at Valley Stadium and Sunday against the GSI Pride at Urbandale Soccer Complex. Both matches start at 4:30 p.m.
Match: Des Moines Menace at Chicago Red Stars Reserves
Date: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Competition: Women’s Premier Soccer League regular season
Venue: Oak Brook Polo Fields (grass) in Oak Brook, Ill.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. CDT
Weather: 80s, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 1 0 1
CHI 0 1 1
MENACE: Rebecca Rodgers (Jermaine Seoposenwe) 34:00
CHI: Alexis Pelafas 80:00
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. The Menace women’s team is part of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL), and the Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL). 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 six and older), camps, clinics and tournaments.