PONTIAC, Mich. – Friday, July 22, 2016 – Same teams, same field.Very different result.
A year after K-W United FC edged the Des Moines Menace here at Ultimate Soccer Arenas, the Menace turned the tables on the defending Premier Development League champions today – and in a massive way.
Redemption came in an unexpectedly lopsided 5-1 triumph in the teams’ third straight meeting in the PDL Central Conference semifinals.
Wasting little time, James Wypych assisted Mark Heath-Preston’s header goal in the sixth minute, and he scored in the 20th, when he volleyed home a diagonal pass from fellow New Zealander Sam Brotherton.
“A big performance. We got it done today,” said Wypych. “We knew the chances would be few and far between. Luckily, we had two chances in the first 20 minutes, and we put them both away.
“It settled our nerves,” Wypych said of the early goals. “It helped us feel like we belong here. We knew this would be a good opportunity for same payback, and we definitely rose to the challenge.”
The Menace went into halftime up three goals – exceeding the team’s offensive output in its two previous encounters with the Canadian club. In 2014, the Menace k-o’ed K-W in a Valley Stadium shootout following 120 scoreless minutes; last year, the eventual champs rallied to top Des Moines, 3-2.
Ramone Howell calmly converted Heath-Preston’s assist in the 38th minute, and these two piled on the Menace’s goals in the second half.
Heath-Preston capitalized on a penalty kick in the 58th minute, after Kamal Miller wiped out Wypych in the box. Howell scored seven minutes later, blasting away a header assist from Devyn Jambga, who had entered the match just four minutes prior.
“Great win,” said the soft-spoken Howell. “It feels great. We kept our focus. We thought we were the underdogs, and we believed in ourselves.”
In a case of too-little, too-late, Sergio Camargo delivered a beauty of a goal in the 78th minute to avoid the reigning champ’s shutout loss. Camargo – whose back-to-back tallies a year ago lifted K-W past the Menace – scored on a nifty spin move, chipping Menace ‘keeper Nico Campbell from close range.
This resounding dose of redemption ties the Menace’s second-most decisive playoff win. Back in 1997, Des Moines defeated Lincoln 4-0 and Omaha 6-0 before the Mid-Michigan Bucks downed the Menace 3-0.
Starting with that win nearly 20 years ago, the Bucks – since renamed the Michigan Bucks – have racked up a 5-1 advantage against the Menace in the PDL Playoffs.
The Menace could get another crack at the Bucks tomorrow in the Central Conference Championship, if the hosts can get past the Thunder Bay Chill in tonight’s second semifinal.
The Menace’s all-time postseason record is 15-14 (7-3 neutral, 1-4 away and 7-7 home).
Des Moines (10-2-2) is the three-peat champion of the Heartland Division; for the third straight season, K-W United (11-1-2) finished as the Great Lakes Division’s runner-up behind Michigan.
The Menace is 1-2-0 in Ultimate Soccer Arenas; The Michigan Bucks defeated the Menace here in a 3-2 conference semifinal in 2011, and K-W beat the Menace 3-2 here a year ago.
In 23 seasons the Menace has 249 wins in combining league play (220), the playoffs (15) and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (14).
James Wypych and Ramone Howell bagged their first Menace goals of 2016.
Devyn Jambga leads the team with six assists this year.
MAN of the MATCH: James Wypych, for being everywhere on the field. The Drake senior-to-be assisted the team’s first goal, assisted its second, and created the opportunity for the fourth score in this huge win.
Match: Des Moines Menace vs. K-W United FC (Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
Date: Friday, July 22, 2016
Competition: Premier Development League Playoffs, Central Conference semifinal
Venue: Ultimate Soccer Arenas (indoor, turf) in Pontiac, Mich.
Kickoff: 5 p.m. EDT
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 3 2 5
KW 0 1 1
MENACE: Mark Heath-Preston (James Wypych) 6:00; Wypych (Sam Brotherton) 20:00; Ramone Howell (Heath-Preston) 38:00; Heath-Preston PK 58:00; Howell (Jambga) 65:00
KW: Sergio Camargo (Ben Whitcomb) 78:00
MENACE CAUTION: Sean Hoek 84:00
KW CAUTIONS: Raphael Reynolds 31:00; Kamal Miller 57:00
2016 SCHEDULE (10-2-2 PDL: 5-0-2 home; 5-2-0 away)
Wednesday, May 11 # at FC Wichita W, 2-1
Wednesday, May 18 # Tulsa Roughnecks FC W, 2-0
Saturday, May 21 Chicago Fire U23 W, 2-1
Saturday, May 28 at St. Louis Lions W, 2-0
Wednesday, June 1 # San Antonio FC L, 1-2
Saturday, June 4 Kokomo Mantis FC T, 0-0
Friday, June 10 at Thunder Bay Chill W, 2-0
Saturday, June 11 at Thunder Bay Chill W, 2-1
Tuesday, June 14 at WSA Winnipeg W, 6-0
Saturday, June 18 St. Louis Lions W, 2-0
Friday, June 24 WSA Winnipeg W, 7-0
Saturday, June 25 WSA Winnipeg W, 9-0
Tuesday, June 28 at Chicago Fire U23 L, 0-1
Friday, July 1 at Kokomo Mantis FC L, 0-2
Saturday, July 2 at Kokomo Mantis FC W, 2-0
Saturday, July 9 Thunder Bay Chill T, 1-1
Friday, July 15 ^ Toledo United FC W, 4-3
Saturday, July 16 St. Louis Lions W, 2-1
Friday, July 22 vs. K-W United FC* W, 5-1
Saturday, July 23 vs. Michigan or Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. EDT
*All game times are central # = Exhibition OC = Open Cup * = PDL Playoffs
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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