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Mariners host Charleston Friday in first leg of home and home

August 19, 2004 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Virginia Beach Mariners News Release

Virginia Beach, VA– The Mariners host the Battery Friday night at 8 p.m. in the first of two weekend matches between the teams. The rematch is scheduled for Sunday in Charleston at 6 p.m. The Battery and the Mariners have played twice so far this year splitting the matches. The Mariners lost to the Battery 4-3 in Charleston on May 11 and then won 2-0 on June 22 at the Sportsplex.

The Match Up Virginia Beach (11-11-3, 36 points) The Mariners are shaking off a disappointing 2-1 double overtime loss in Toronto on Wednesday night, a defeat that dealt the teamÂ’s playoff hopes a blow and broke a three-game winning streak. But Virginia Beach is still in the hunt, just 5 points out of the fourth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with three matches remaining. The team stands six points behind fourth-place Rochester and five points behind fifth place Atlanta. Rochester has a game in hand with just two remaining but Atlanta has four matches left to play. Montreal, Richmond and Syracuse hold the top three spots.

Current A-League Player of the Week, Dante Washington, plays the leading offensive role for the club and stands in first place League-wide in points with 38 in 24 games. He also ranks second in goals with 16 and seventh in assists with 6. He was named Player of the Week for his 2-goal, 1-assist performance in the Mariners 3-1 win over Atlanta on August 11. Surprisingly, this was WashingtonÂ’s first Player of the Week honor in his two seasons in the League. He was named to the Team of the Week four times in 2003 and also four times in 2004.

Washington is followed closely by teammate Carlos Garcia, the A-League Player of the Week last week for his two goals and two assists over Toronto and Atlanta on August 2 and 6. Garcia ranks 14th in the League in points with 18 in 22 games and ranks second in assists with 8.

Goalkeeper Matt Nelson stands 8th in minutes played in the League with 2069, sixth with 11 wins in 22 games, and seventh with 93 saves.

The Mariners are 9-3-0 at home this season and 3-2-0 in their last five matches. The team has scored 41 goals, which is second-most in the League, and have allowed 36, scoring 10 in their last five matches.

Charleston, last yearÂ’s A-League Champion, has had a difficult season, and have been eliminated from playoff contention. But the Battery has shown signs of life in its last few matches, recently blowing out Rochester 5-1. They have had great success in the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition and have advanced to the semi-finals with a 1-0 win over Rochester. They will travel west to face the Chicago Fire on August 25.

Greg Simmonds leads the Battery with five goals and three assists followed by Paul Conway with four goals and three assists. Goalkeeper Dusty Hudock ranks sixth in the A-League in saves with 97 in 21 games.

The Battery is 2-8-3 on the road this season and 1-2-2 in its last five matches. They have scored 24 goals, allowing 37, scoring 8 in the last five matches.

Mariners Team News The Mariners will try to break the Virginia Beach Sportsplex attendance record of 7,133 Friday night. The record was set on July 6, 1998 when the facility opened with a match between the Mariners and D.C. United.

Midfielder Jeff Bilyk will be ineligible for FridayÂ’s match because of an accumulation of yellow cards.

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