WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, July 7, 2018 – That slow start to the Women’s Premier Soccer League season seems like a distant memory for the Des Moines Menace.
Once the team’s roster reached full strength, the Menace shook off a three-game losing streak and found its rhythm in a season-closing five-match unbeaten streak. Des Moines wrapped it up with today’s 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Athletics at Valley Stadium.
“We finished on a positive – probably one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with,” Menace head coach Justin Vorster. “We just kept moving forward, and they stuck to the plan. Each player worked for each other, and I thought that was the key.”
Long-distance goals by Libby Helverson (in the seventh minute) and Robyn Moodaly (a curler to the upper-right corner in the 28th minute) put the Menace up a couple scores in the early going.
Goalkeeper Kaylin Swart and the Menace defense protected a 2-1 halftime lead, and the Menace (4-3-1, 13 points) passed the Athletics (3-3-1, 10 points) in the Heartland Conference standings.
“Feels really good,” Swart said. “We needed to finish on a winning note. Team effort – credit to the girls. I just think the team chemistry is what took us to this streak.”
In the season’s final two weekends, the Menace has strung together three straight wins at Valley Stadium. Des Moines finishes in second place in the conference.
The Athletics, whose season has followed a trajectory opposite the Menace’s, could pull even with the Menace’s mark with a win tomorrow against conference champ Fire & Ice SC. Kansas City is winless since starting the season with three straight victories.
WOMAN of the MATCH: Kaylin Swart, for her goalkeeping heroics. Swart, a member of the South African national team, once again rose to the occasion, with the most excitement coming in the 77th minute. Drawn off her line, Swart showed her cat-like reflexes in a suspenseful sequence of three straight saves.
- These teams battled to a scoreless stalemate in Kansas City on June 23.
- Athletics rebranded after ending their inaugural 2017 season with a Heartland Region title and an 8-0-0 record as the GSI Pride.
- In seven seasons, the Menace women have piled up an all-time mark of 36-20-6.
- Libby Helverson scored her first Menace goal to cap off a week that including this KCCI-8 feature on Libby and her older sister (and Menace teammate) Haley: http://www.kcci.com/article/helversons-share-soccer-field-for-1st-time/22041552
Match: Kansas City Athletics at Des Moines Menace
Date: Saturday, July 7, 2018
Competition: Women’s Premier Soccer League regular season
Venue: Valley Stadium (artificial-turf field) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. CDT
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 2 0 2
KCA 1 0 1
MENACE: Libby Helverson 7
MENACE: Robyn Moodaly 28
KCA: Alexis Howard 40