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Mariners prepare for another must-win game against Atlanta

August 10, 2004 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Virginia Beach Mariners News Release

Virginia Beach, VA– The Virginia Beach Mariners will face the Atlanta Silverbacks Wednesday night at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex as the teams complete a home and home. Wednesday night’s game promises to be another electrifying match, mirroring their last meeting this past Friday when the Mariners held on for the 4-3 win. Both teams are fighting for the fourth and final Eastern Conference playoff berth. Virginia Beach has won both previous meetings, 2-1 in overtime on May 22 and 4-3 on August 6. The Mariners are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, five points behind both fourth place Atlanta (12-7-2, 38 points) and fifth place Syracuse (11-7-5, 38 points).

The Match Up Virginia Beach Mariners (10-10-3, 33 points) The Mariners will try to remain undefeated in August and in the playoff hunt as they return home for the first time in two weeks. Overall, the Mariners are 4-1-0 in their last five matches and 8-3-0 this season at home, outscoring their opponents 25-15 in those 11 matches. Scoring goals has not been a problem this year as the Mariners rank third in the A-League with 37 goals while allowing 33. Dante WashingtonÂ’s 31 points in 22 games ranks him second in the A-League; his 13 goals ranks him third and his 5 assists rank him ninth. Carlos Garcia is ranked secondt in the League in assists with 7 in 20 matches and he also ranks fourteenth in points with 17. Hamisi Amani-Dove, also with 5 assists but in 23 games, is ranked tenth League-wide. Goalkeeper Matt Nelson has 1787 minutes in goal in 20 matches, the eighth most in the League. He ranks fifth in wins with 10 and eighth in the League in saves with 78. He also ranks seventh in games played with 20.

Wednesday night, the Mariners will be without defenders Steve Danbusky and Russell Hutchison who will be serving a one-game suspension for an accumulation of points for yellow cards. Midfielder Jeff Bilyk will also be on the bench serving the first of a three-game suspension for points.

Mariner defensive midfielder Steve Shak will be back on the pitch Wednesday night after missing two games with an MCL sprain.

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