The short-handed Madison 56ers took the lead against the Des Moines Menace in a Women's Premier Soccer League match Saturday and were minutes away from claiming a point, but they ended up all wet.
Katie Hurd scored on a shot from just outside the box in the 90th minute as the Menace pulled out a 2-1 victory in rainy West Des Moines, Iowa.
"Unfortunately we were only able to travel with 12 pople and it took its toll," said 56ers coach John Reddan, whose team had won its first two Midwest Division games of the season.
"The group battled extremely hard, but in the end, the Menace is a strong team. They're technical, they're organized and if you're not careful, sooner or later you're going to get broken down."
Alex Melin (Verona) put Madison ahead in the 35th minute, scoring for the second straight match. The Iowa midfielder headed a corner kick by UW's Molly Laufenberg (Waunakee) past Des Moines goalkeeper Andrea Swanson.
While the 56ers had their chances, Madison's Katy Pilarzyk (Madison Memorial) was the busier of the keepers.
"We let them in a few times and Katy Pilazryk made some outstanding saves," he said of the UW-Green Bay keeper. "Quite frankly, on the day we were lucky it wasn't a bigger margin.
"Des Moines is a good team. They moved it around, and if it wasn't for Katy they could have scored more on the day."
The Menace (1-1-0) equalized in the 63rd after a long throw got over the Madison backline and found its way to Maggie Wylie, who finished against Pilarzyk.
Elise Brown, who recently finished her junior season at Madison West High School, made her WPSL debut as the 56ers' lone substitute. Reddan said many players weren't available for the match because of weddings, graduations and work obligations.
Madison returns home to face the Quad City Eagles (0-2-0) next Saturday, with kickoff set for 3 p.m. at Breese Stevens Field. It's the first game of a doubleheader, as the clubs' National Premier Soccer League men's teams play at 7 p.m.
MADISON 56ERS: Katy Pilarzyk; Ashley Burkhardt, Jenna Harrington, Geena Swentik, Sarah Schmelzer; Alex Melin, Lindsey Holmes, Mara Wyttenbach; Molly Laufenberg, Sara Spaulding, Shaina Riciputi. Substitute (open): Elise Brown.