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Battery Take Win against City Islanders

May 6, 2013 - USL PRO (USL PRO)

HARRISBURG, Pa. - First-half goals by Mike Ariza and Nicki Paterson gave the Charleston Battery a 2-1 victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders on Wednesday night at Skyline Sports Complex. The defeat was the first of the season for the City Islanders as the Battery won a rematch from the 2012 USL PRO Playoffs.

The City Islanders had the better of the early going, with a pair of set pieces offering scoring opportunities, but the Battery took an early lead as Azira scored his third goal of the season. Mark Wiltse set up the opportunity, angling a cross into the left side of the penalty area, and Azira struck his volleyed finish perfectly into the right side of the net.

The Battery added to their lead in the 37th minute after City Islanders defender Coady Andrews handled in his own penalty area, and Paterson shot low into the right corner of the net. Four minutes later, the City Islanders pulled one back, with Cris Hernandez driving home a finish from 25 yards after good knock-down by Lucky Mkosana, making it a one-goal game at the halftime break.

Charleston almost added to its lead in the 58th minute, Quinton Griffith making a good run into the penalty area before having his shot tipped over the crossbar by Nick Noble. The Battery again went close through Zach Prince, his long-range effort going just wide of the right post, and Dane Kelly went close with 15 minutes remaining, Noble saving well as he broke in on goal.

Harrisburg's Jimmy McLaughlin, brought on in the second half, almost found an equalizer, shooting just wide with a turning shot from 15 yards. The City Islanders again went close with less than 10 minutes to go as Sainey Touray's effort was denied by Battery goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper. The City Islanders continued to press as time wound down, but the Battery were able to hold on to claim all three points.

FRIDAY

RICHMOND 2, WILMINGTON 0: The Richmond Kickers took their third consecutive victory as Luke Vercollone and Michael Seaton scored second-half goals to lead their side past the Wilmington Hammerheads at Legion Stadium. Seaton's goal came on his professional debut, with the 17-year-old loanee from D.C. United scoring late on a breakaway to put the game away.

The Hammerheads looked to play directly in the early going, trying to put pressure on the Kickers' defense with a series of set pieces and throw-ins. William Heaney had the Hammerheads' first real opportunity in the 12th minute, but both teams showed positive energy as they pushed forward quickly upon gaining possession.

Richmond came close to opening the scoring just past the half-hour mark as Seaton fired a close-range effort off the crossbar and away to safety. Wilmington ended the half as it had begun it, pressing from a set piece, but the teams went to the break scoreless.

Both sides continued to press forward in the second half, and Richmond came close to opening the scoring in the 60th minute as Nate Robinson sent a curling free kick over the top of the crossbar from 22 yards. The Kickers took the lead with just more than 15 minutes to play after a Hammerheads' defender was called for a handball in the penalty area, and Vercollone rifled his penalty kick into the roof of the net.

Wilmington tried to find an equalizer in the final 10 minutes, Uriah Bentick seeing a long-range effort saved by Andrew Dykstra at the right post, and he went close again as a header went just over the crossbar from a corner in the 88th minute. The Kickers were able to ice the game in the final minute, Seaton scoring on the counter-attack after a Wilmington corner, to earn all three points.

TAMPA BAY 3, ANTIGUA 1: Mauricio Salles scored a pair of goals off the bench as VSI Tampa Bay FC rallied for victory against Antigua Barracuda FC at Plant City Stadium. Antigua had held the halftime lead, but Salles scored twice after coming on with just more than 20 minutes remaining to help his side take victory.

The Barracudas opened the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes, with Tamarley Thomas heading home from close range for Antigua's first goal of the season. VSI almost hit back moments later, but had a goal ruled out for offside after an intricate passing movement in the Cudas' penalty area.

Both teams continued to attack quickly when they had the opportunity, Tampa Bay having a header flicked over the crossbar at the near post from a corner, and Antigua sending an effort from 25 yards over the crossbar. VSI came close again just after the 20-minute mark, only for Corey Whisenhunt to make a good save after he had parried a long-range free kick.

Whisenhunt had a strong first half, making a number of good saves to keep his side ahead as Tampa Bay continued to put pressure on for an equalizer. Tampa Bay came close again early in the second half, only for a Barracudas defender to clear the danger from the top of his six-yard box after Whisenhunt had failed to claim.

Tampa Bay was finally able to find an equalizer five minutes after the break, a good cross from the right being headed home by Tony Donatelli into the right corner of the net. Antigua was able to get back onto the offensive following the equalizer, Randolph Burton sending a chipped effort just wide of the post, but Tampa Bay took the lead with 17 minutes remaining as Salles scored just a few minutes after coming on as a substitute.

Salles added his second in stoppage time, breaking onto a through-ball before finishing well for his third goal of the season. The Barracudas were then reduced to 10 men just before the final whistle, Alex Philip being sent off for a late challenge.

CHARLESTON 1, DAYTON 0: Nicki Paterson scored his second goal in as many games as the Charleston Battery took victory against the Dayton Dutch Lions at Beavercreek Stadium. The victory was the fourth in a row for the Battery, who sent the Dutch Lions to a second consecutive defeat.

The Battery almost took the lead inside the opening three minutes, only for Matt Williams to make a good save on a close-range effort from Haviel Cordoves. Both sides were able to create chances in the opening half-hour, but the Battery took the lead from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute after a handball in the area was converted by Paterson, who sent Williams the wrong way.

Dayton came out strongly to start the second half, creating some chances for and equalizer, but the Battery defense was able to weather the pressure in the opening 15 minutes after the break. The game evened out for much of the remainder, but the Dutch Lions missed out on a late chance to equalize, a volley from 10 yards sailing over the crossbar.

PHOENIX 1, PITTSBURGH 1: Andrew Marshall's late goal earned the Pittsburgh Riverhounds a 1-1 draw with Phoenix FC at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. The draw snapped the Riverhounds' four-game losing streak as they earned a point in the first game of their west coast road trip.

After a balanced opening, the Wolves grabbed the lead in the 11th minute as Donny Toia scored on a fine shot from 25 yards. Phoenix went close to doubling its lead a few minutes later, Diego Faria being played in behind the defense, only for Riverhounds' goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap to win the race to the ball and clear to safety.

Pittsburgh had chances of its own, Jose Angulo finding an opening in the 24th minute only to send his pressured shot wide. Jhonny Arteaga had another chance to equalize just before the halftime break as he made a good run into the right side of the penalty area, only for Andrew Weber to save well and keep the Wolves on top.

Phoenix threatened again early in the second half, and Gilstrap had to be alert to deny a good opportunity for Faria. Netinho also had an opportunity well saved by Gilstrap, and Pittsburgh also created opportunities, a shot from distance going just over the crossbar from 30 yards just before the hour-mark. Angulo had another chance from 12 yards a few minutes later, only to find the side-netting from the left side of the penalty area.

The Riverhounds were able to get back on level terms with 11 minutes remaining after Phoenix was unable to completely clear a set piece. A well-played ball into the left corner found Angulo, and his low cross was met at the near post by Marshall's finish, just beating Weber to the ball. Phoenix had a pair of opportunities to regain the lead late, Brian Vickers shooting just wide from 20 yards out, but the Riverhounds were able to earn their second point of the season.

SATURDAY

RICHMOND 3, CHARLOTTE 3: Conor Shanosky scored a stoppage-time equalizer as the Richmond Kickers overcame losing a two-goal halftime lead to earn a draw with the Charlotte Eagles at City Stadium. Charlotte had put in a strong second-half rally, taking the lead in the 90th minute through Shaun Francis, but both teams remained undefeated following a thrilling contest.

Both teams got forward well early, Casey Townsend sending a header just wide from a corner from the right for the Kickers, and the Eagles' Jorge Herrera having a volley from the left side of the penalty saved by Andrew Dykstra. The Kickers took the lead in the 14th minute, though, as Brian Ownby was able to tuck home a finish from the left side of the penalty area.

Richmond doubled its advantage in similar fashion in the 35th minute as Ownby headed a pass into the path of Stanley Nyazamba as he ran into the left side of the penalty area and sent a low shot into the right corner of the net.

Charlotte pulled a goal back in the second minute of the second half, halftime substitute Drew Yates making an immediate impact with his first goal of the season. Stefan Smith then came close to tying the game in the 58th minute, only to shoot straight at Dykstra from the right side of the penalty area.

Richmond was able to regain some control with the introduction of Luke Vercollone, and the veteran midfielder came close to restoring the Kickers' two-goal advantage in the 71st minute as he fired a shot over the crossbar from just inside the penalty area. Charlotte then went close, Christian Meza clipping the top of the crossbar with a curling shot from 20 yards. The Eagles tied the game with just more than 10 minutes remaining, however, as Smith finished a back-post corner for his first goal of the season.

The Kickers pushed forward to try and retake the lead in the final 10 minutes, and Eric Reed made a pair of good saves to keep the game even from Nate Robinson and Mike Callahan, whose fierce drive was tipped onto the crossbar and away for a corner.

The Eagles appeared to grab victory in the final minute of the game as Francis controlled just outside the Kickers' penalty area and volleyed home a finish into the left corner of the net. The Kickers hit back with virtually the final kick of the game, though, as Shanosky was on hand to finish off a rebound from close range to earn his side a point.

HARRISBURG 1, ROCHESTER 0: Morgan Langley scored the only goal of the game as the Harrisburg City Islanders took victory against the Rochester Rhinos at Sahlen's Stadium. The victory gave the City Islanders the season-sweep of their series with the Rhinos, keeping Rochester without a win this season.

Harrisburg opened brightly, and came close to taking the lead with a well-worked move that Sainey Touray just sent wide of the right post in the sixth minute. The City Islanders had the better of most of the possession early on, but almost got caught out as Gabe Latigue sent Matt Luzunaris through on goal for the Rhinos. City Islanders goalkeeper Nick Noble came off his line to challenge, and the two players collided, leaving Luzunaris down. After treatment, the striker was carted from the field with what was later confirmed by the Rhinos as a broken leg.

Harrisburg continued to have the better of the play, and took the lead in the 37th minute off a corner from the right by Cris Hernandez. The delivery was met at the near post by Touray, and his flick was put home at the back post by Langley for his first goal of the season. The Rhinos came close to tying the game late in the half, but a shot by Latigue curled over the crossbar from the top of the penalty area.

The City Islanders came close to adding to their lead early in the second half, a good move coming to Touray 10 yards from goal, but Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht made a good reaction save to deny him. Rochester responded well, and almost found an equalizer as Matt Horth headed an effort off the crossbar following a corner kick in the 55th minute.

The Rhinos continued to push forward in search of an equalizer, and Tam McManus forced a good save from a free kick from 25 yards as Noble tipped his effort over the crossbar in the 74th minute. Kendall McFayden was also dangerous after coming on as a substitute, but the City Islanders were able to hold on to take victory, rebounding from a midweek defeat to Charleston.

ORLANDO 7, ANTIGUA 2: Dom Dwyer scored a first-half hat trick, giving him eight goals this season, as Orlando City cruised to victory against Antigua Barracuda FC at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

The Lions struck twice in the opening five minutes, with Dwyer scoring his sixth goal of the season in the opening minute, heading home a cross by Jamie Watson. Anthony Pulis doubled the lead four minutes later, finishing an easy chance created by Dennis Chin, who cut back a low cross after breaking through the Barracudas' defense.

Orlando added a third in the 12th minute, Watson finding space behind the Barracudas' defense on the left before centering to Chin, who shot low into the right corner of the net. Dwyer added his second of the game four minutes later, gaining possession just outside the Barracudas' penalty area before shooting home.

Antigua wasn't able to offer much going forward, Eugine Kirwan having a shot saved in the 34th minute by Sean Kelley. Soon after, however, Orlando made it five as Dwyer completed his hat trick, putting home a corner by Luke Boden.

Orlando added to its lead early in the second half, Antigua captain George Dublin redirecting a cross into his own net in the 49th minute. Rob Valentino then headed home a corner in the 54th minute as the Lions continued to control the game.

Antigua got a pair of consolation goals in the final 15 minutes, the first coming from Hazely Pyle as he drove home a good finish into the right corner after a corner was only half-cleared. An own goal with two minutes to play capped the scoring as the Lions maintained their position at the top of the league standings.

SUNDAY

LOS ANGELES 0, PITTSBURGH 0: The Los Angeles Blues and Pittsburgh Riverhounds played to a scoreless draw at Titan Stadium. The result kept the Blues undefeated at home, while leaving Pittsburgh in search of its first win of the season.

The Blues had the first proper effort on goal in the 10th minute, Gabriel Gonzalez taking a shot from 25 yards that was easily held by Riverhounds goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap. The Riverhounds also had a good long-range effort from Robert Vincent that was punched away by Carl Woszczynski in the 22nd minute.

Both teams also had chances from set pieces, but the game reached the halftime break scoreless. Los Angeles' Chris Cortez forced a good save from Gilstrap three minutes into the second half, as did Gonzalez. Pittsburgh also created chances, with Matt Dallman having his shot blocked as he worked into the left side of the penalty area.

Los Angeles went close to taking the lead in the 56th minute as Allan Russell claimed a half-cleared corner on the right side and sent a cross into Cortez, only for the forward to send his header over the crossbar. Shay Spitz also went close in the 64th minute as he was found by a good pass into the penalty area before shooting toward the right post, only for Gilstrap to get down well to save.

Spitz again went close in the 69th minute, a well-worked move releasing him into the left side of the penalty area, only for his shot to go off the left post and be cleared by the Riverhounds' defense. Gonzalez also went close in the 75th minute, heading just wide from Spitz's cross from the left. Neither side was able to break the deadlock, however, as the Riverhounds completed their road trip with two points in two games.

STANDINGS (Through May 5)

Team GP W L T GF GA GD Points

Orlando 7 5 1 1 21 8 +13 16

Los Angeles 8 4 3 1 14 8 +6 13

Harrisburg 5 4 1 0 11 5 +6 12

Charleston 5 4 1 0 10 5 +5 12

Tampa Bay 7 4 3 0 11 7 +4 12

Richmond 5 3 0 2 13 5 +8 11

Charlotte 5 2 0 3 8 4 +4 9

Phoenix 7 2 3 2 7 10 -3 8

Dayton 4 2 2 0 3 6 -3 6

Wilmington 4 1 3 0 3 9 -6 3

Pittsburgh 7 0 4 3 3 9 -6 3

Rochester 6 0 5 1 3 16 -13 1

Antigua 5 0 5 0 3 18 -15 0

RESULTS

Wednesday, May 1

Charleston 2, Harrisburg 1

Friday, May 3

Charleston 1, Dayton 0

Richmond 2, Wilmington 0

Tampa Bay 3, Antigua 1

Phoenix 1, Pittsburgh 1

Saturday, May 4

Richmond 3, Charlotte 3

Harrisburg 1, Rochester 0

Orlando 7, Antigua 2

Sunday, May 5

Los Angeles 0, Pittsburgh 0

SCHEDULE

Tuesday, May 7

Los Angeles at LA Galaxy Reserves, 10 p.m. ET

Thursday, May 9

Phoenix at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. ET

Friday, May 10

Antigua at Harrisburg, 7 p.m. ET

Rochester at Wilmington, 7:30 p.m. ET

Saturday, May 11

Antigua at Richmond, 7 p.m. ET

Wilmington at Charleston, 7:30 p.m. ET

Phoenix at Dayton, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 12

Orlando at Seattle Sounders Reserves, 7 p.m. ET

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