David Zalzman, a first-year player out of Memphis, needed just a sliver of space to convert two shots and added his third on a penalty kick, as Des Moines flexed some muscle in a 3-0 win Saturday night.
“You never expect to get a hat trick, but I think it’s all the teamwork and the way we build,” Zalzman said.
The Venezuelan put the hosts ahead after 22 minutes with some individual skill. Dribbling through three defenders into the penalty area, Zalzman faked his shot and finished with a curling effort over goalkeeper James Neher.
His second came from just outside the penalty area. Receiving a pass from Meshack Addy near the penalty arc, Zalzman struck a left-footed shot just inside the near post to double Des Moines’ lead.
“It was a good counter attack, so we had more numbers than they did in defense,” he said. “I was right in front of the goal, so I just took the shot [to] see what’d happen.”
His penalty in the 61st rounded out the evening for the hat trick hero, producing the Menace’s first hat trick since Leigh Veidman scored four against WSA Winnipeg on June 24, 2016.
“Competing in college, that was the last time [I scored three],” Zalzman said. “[The first one] was when I was very, very little.”
The only unfortunate thing about Zalzman finding his form is the timing. Next up, the Menace head north of the border for its annual road swing through Canada. Des Moines will take on arch-rival Thunder Bay next Friday and Saturday before traveling Sunday for games in Winnipeg Sunday and Monday. According to Menace head coach John Pascarella, Zalzman still won’t be on the bus.
The Venezuelan’s visa status does not allow him get into Canada. That will leave a hole in the No. 10 role for the Menace to have to fill.
“We’re going to lose him for this next road trip, unfortunately,” Pascarella said. “That’s the nature of the PDL and the visas these kids are on. It’s something we’ll deal with.”
“He’ll be okay. He’ll continue to train with the team while the group is gone and he’ll be ready when we get back.”
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