Battery advance with 4-1 win
Charleston wins series 4-2 on aggregate
CHARLESTON, SC -- The Charleston Battery defeated the Virginia Beach Mariners tonight at Blackbaud Stadium by a score of four goals to one. With the win Charleston advances to next weekend's Eastern Conference Final series where it will meet the Rochester Raging Rhinos.
Tonight's match was the second game of a two-match home-and-home series. The Battery lost the first leg 1-0 at Virginia Beach but with tonight's victory win the aggregate score series 4-2.
Josh Henderson led the way for the Battery scoring twice in front of a rain-drenched crowd of 2,025. This is the first time that Charleston has advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Charleston opened the scoring in the 3rd minute. Ted Chronopoulos broke down the left flank and sent a swerving ball into the middle. Forward, Paul Conway turned the ball across the 6 yard box for midfielder Chris Goos who snapped a header past Mariners goalkeeper, Matt Nelson.
Seven minutes later the Mariners equalized. Pato Aguilera whipped in a cross from the right-hand touchline. Midfielder, Hamisi Amani-Dove met the cross and powered a header off the underside of the bar and into the goal.
Within five minutes the Battery retook the lead. This time it was Goos who supplied the telling ball. He drove a weighted pass into the box from just inside the Mariners half. Henderson ran onto the ball and tucked it past Nelson with a left-footed full volley.
The crowd was still celebrating Henderson's strike in the 17th minute when Charleston added a third goal. Goos made some space for himself on the near side and drove a ball into the 6 yard box. Mariner's defender, Russell Hutchison slid in to stop the cross but the ball spun cruelly off his leg and into the goal.
In the 51st minute Battery goalkeeper Dusty Hudock made a fine save to deny Mariners forward Dante Washington. Washington hit a hard volley left-footed at the goal from just outside the box. Hudock dove to his left and managed to turn the ball around the post.
Hudock was solid again in the 60th minute smothering a Roy Lassiter effort just inside the box after Lassiter had broken through to face him one-on-one. The Mariners kept the ball alive but the Battery defense withstood the onslaught and scrambled the ball clear.
Charleston sealed the win in the 71st minute as Henderson notched his second. Paul Conway headed the ball on for him and as Nelson advanced he lifted it over the goalkeeper and into the goal.
The Battery travels to Rochester Friday for the first game in the Eastern Conference series, kick off is set for 7:35 pm (WTMZ 910 AM). Both teams will then return to Blackbaud Stadium Sunday at 6 pm for the concluding match.
Tickets for the Eastern Conference Final are on sale now priced at $8 - $15. Three Lions Club members receive complimentary tickets to all post-season games while 2003 season ticket holders receive a $2 discount on their playoff tickets. Season tickets holders must purchase their seats before 5 pm on Wednesday, September 10. To purchase tickets or for more information call 971-GOAL / www.charlestonbattery.com
CHB: Goos (Conway) 3
VB: Amani-Dove (Aguilera) 10
CHB: Henderson (Goos) 14
CHB: own goal 17
CHB: Henderson (Conway) 71
VB: Aguilera 37, Danbusky 58
Referees: Todd Perry, Andrew Chapin, Josh Thomas, Chris Sculthorpe