McKay Matheson (center), Nicole Pearson (left), Ann Marie Jaworski (background) and the Menace are down to their last match. Photo credit: Joe Sprunger
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, July 15, 2017 – In a battle for second place, the Chicago Red Stars Reserves dealt the Des Moines Menace a 2-0 Women’s Premier Soccer League defeat today at Valley Stadium.
With a goal in each half, Chicago (4-2-1, 13 points) bumped Des Moines (3-2-2, 11 points) to the third spot in the Heartland Region standings. This was a rematch of the teams’ 1-1 draw a week ago on the Red Stars’ home field.
“Not our day today,” Menace head coach Justin Vorster said. “Credit to the Red Stars; they came in prepared. But I feel, deep down, we have the talent to beat them. We proved it last week.”
Menace goalkeeper Haley Morris kept the Menace in this one. Chicago held a decisive edge in shots on goal, and Morris was busy collecting saves on this steamy afternoon.
The shutout lasted until Crystal Elmers’ goal in the 34th minute, and the 1-0 score stood until Tamae Douglas found the net in the 80th.
“I feel like we thought we should’ve won last week, so we came into this one with some energy,” Morris said. “(The Red Stars) were probably irritated by last Saturday, and they came in with a lot more energy defending compared to last week. I think our energy ran out at the end.”
The Menace closes its season tomorrow against the postseason-bound GSI Pride at Urbandale Soccer Complex. Chicago wraps up its schedule tomorrow with a home match against the Kansas City Courage.
GSI, a first-year team from Kansas City, has claimed the region’s playoff spot by winning all seven of its matches and snapping Chicago’s run of three-straight regional titles.
“We have nothing to lose,” Morris said. “We’re going to go out and give it all we’ve got. We’re ready to go out on a high note.”
- The Menace is 0-6-2 all-time against Chicago.
- This was the Menace’s first home action since June 11.
- Chicago’s goalkeeper, Cassie Miller, stars for Florida State. She earned the goalie spot on the 2016 All-America First Team, and she had a string of 10 straight postseason shutouts, highlighted by the Seminoles’ 2014 NCAA championship.
- The Red Stars’ Crystal Elmers is the only WPSL player to score against the Menace before halftime this season.
- Just like when Chicago hosted Des Moines a week ago, the goals came in the 34th and 80th minutes. Last Saturday, the Menace’s Rebecca Rodgers scored in the 34th minute and the Red Stars’ Alexis Pelafas equalized in the 80th.
- Opening a Menace doubleheader against the Windy City’s top amateur teams, this WPSL match was followed by a Premier Development League season finale between the Menace and Chicago FC United.
WOMAN of the MATCH: Haley Morris, for her heroic goalkeeping. Morris, a West Des Moines Valley grad entering her senior season with the Drake Bulldogs, is the first Menace player to receive this honor twice this season.
UP NEXT: The Menace’s 2017 season concludes tomorrow afternoon against the GSI Pride (Kansas City). 4:30 is the time, the Urbandale Soccer Complex is the place, and admission is free. Fans are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Match: Chicago Red Stars Reserves at Des Moines Menace
Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017
Competition: Women’s Premier Soccer League regular season
Venue: Valley Stadium (turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 90s, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 0 0 0
CHI 1 1 2
CHI: Crystal Elmers (Jenna Szczesny) 34:00; Tamae Douglas (Zoe Swift) 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.