Menace women remain unbeaten after tough road win

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sunday, July 10, 2016 – Back-to-back goals by Jordan Bishop and Mary Brandt erased a halftime deficit in the Des Moines Menace’s 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Courage on the Rockhurst University campus.

Jordan Bishop, shown in yesterday's 8-1 home win over Quad City, was the Woman of the Match after providing today's equalizer. Photo credit: Joe Sprunger

Jordan Bishop, shown in yesterday’s 8-1 home win over Quad City, was the Woman of the Match after providing today’s equalizer. Photo credit: Joe Sprunger

Bishop evened the match in the 65th minute and Brandt struck three minutes later. The Menace’s dependable defense did its part, and Des Moines is 5-1-0 heading into a pair of anticipated home matches in the final weekend of the Women’s Premier Soccer League season.

The Menace’s last road match of the season was a rematch of the team’s home opener – a 4-0 win on June 4.

“It’s always hard to win on the road,” Menace head coach Justin Vorster said. “They (the Courage) were stronger than the last time. They made it hard for us, but we also made it hard for ourselves by not taking our opportunities and scoring more goals.

“We had some really good chances, and it was just a matter of time. I thought the girls showed character to come back and win it.”

A day after the Menace cruised to an 8-1 home win over Quad City, the goals were tougher to come by for the visitors, who fell behind when KC’s Gabi Severns scored in the 40th minute.

The scores from Bishop and Brandt each came after loose ball situations. The game-winner was preceded by a Shayna Stubbs corner kick that led to a combination of headers before Brandt seized the opportunity for her first goal in two seasons with the Menace.

Brandt was also part of the back four – along with Georgia Robert, Kat Lewis and Susan Kehl – who put the clamps on the Courage in the second half. Menace goalkeeper Haley Morris was sure-handed in the victory.

With a successful weekend, the Menace bounced back from its lone setback in an otherwise perfect season. Des Moines was coming off a 4-0 loss to the Chicago Red Stars Reserves on July 2.

The Menace gets a shot at revenge against Chicago – the defending WPSL champion – this coming Saturday at Valley Stadium. The next day, the team closes the season against Minnesota at Grimes Sports Complex.

“We’re in good spirits and ready for the grand finale with the biggest home game of the year,” Vorster said. “We’re all looking forward to next week. Our ultimate goal is to beat Chicago.”

A year after these teams shared a pair of 1-1 ties, the Menace has taken a 4-0-2 lead in the all-time series.
The Menace has a 22-6 goal differential, outscoring opponents by an 11-3 margin in both halves.
Des Moines has a shot at tying the franchise’s most wins in a season. The inaugural Menace women won the 2012 Women’s League Soccer title with a 7-1-0 record; the 2014 Menace finished the WPSL season 7-3-0.
The Courage is 3-4-0; Kansas City has gone 1-4-0 since winning its first two games of the season.

WOMAN of the MATCH: Jordan Bishop for her equalizer, her steady play and her veteran leadership. A fifth-year staple with the Menace, Bishop is an Iowa State grad, a former professional (2011 Boston Breakers), and a newlywed. She knotted today’s match just two weekends after tying the knot with Kyle McMahon.

UP NEXT: The Menace closes the season next weekend, hosting Chicago (Saturday at Valley Stadium) and Minnesota (Sunday at Grimes Sports Complex). Saturday’s game opens a doubleheader capped by the Menace’s Premier Development League season-closing match with St. Louis.

Match: Quad City Eagles at Des Moines Menace
Date: Sunday, July 10, 2016
Competition: Women’s Premier Soccer League regular season
Venue: Bourke Field (turf) in Kansas City, Mo.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. CDT
Weather: 90s – sunny and windy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 0 2 2
KC 1 0 1
MENACE: Jordan Bishop 65:00; Mary Brandt 68:00
KC: Gabi Severns (Nugene Nugent) 40:00