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Mariners ready for two-match weekend

September 1, 2005 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Virginia Beach Mariners News Release

Virginia Beach, Virginia - The Virginia Beach Mariners are ready for their last two home matches of the 2005 season. Friday night, September 2, the Mariners will host the Portland Timbers and Sunday night, September 2, the Charleston Battery will visit the Sportsplex. Both games kick off at 7:30 p.m. The season wraps up for our boys in blue in Rochester on September 10.

The Weekend Match Ups

Virginia Beach (5-13-7, 22 points) The Mariners played Montreal, the number one team in the USL First Division, to a standstill on August 26 on national television only to come away with a heartbreaking 1-0 loss on a goal scored in the 93rd minute. Two days later, on August 28, the team came back to tie Toronto 1-1 on an 80th minute strike by Jakob Fenger assisted by Steve Shak. Both matches were on the road.

The Mariners tied Portland 2-2 on the road May 28, coming back from being 2 down at 51 minutes. Virginia Beach held the Timbers scoreless for the final 39 minutes and earned the draw on a goal in the 60th minute by David Castellanos and a penalty kick by Darren Caskey in the 84th minute.

The Mariners are 1-0-2 against Charleston this season, earning a 1-1 draw on April 29, a 1-0 victory on July 16 and a 0-0 draw on August 7.

Leading scorers: Darren Caskey (4 goals, 3 assists, 11 points); David Castellanos (4 goals, 1 assist, 9 points); John Barry Nusum (4 goals, 8 points).

Goalkeeping: Matt Nelson (1.44 goals-against-average (GAA), 5 shutouts, 71 saves in 25 matches). Nelson is tied for second in the USL First Division in minutes played with 2250, second in games played, ranks 7th in the Division in shutouts, and ranks 8th in saves.

Portland Timbers (8-8-8, 32 points)

Portland is currently sitting in sixth place, holding onto the final playoff spot with three matches remaining -- home and away against Richmond and home against Atlanta. Forward Dan Antoniuk scored both goals for Portland on August 28 in the Timbers' 2-0 shutout of Atlanta on the road. Traveling to Charleston on August 29, Portland dropped a 1-0 decision to the Battery on an 88th minute goal by forward Greg Simmons.

Leading scorers: Dan Antoniuk (18 points ranks 7th in the Division in points and 7th in goals with 8 in 21 matches); Byron Alvarez (15 points ranks 11th in the Division in points and 10th in goals with 7 in 22 matches). Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar leads the Division in assists with 9 in 22 matches.

Goalkeeping: Josh Saunders (1.58 GAA, 5 shutouts, 95 saves in 24 matches). Saunders ranks 5th in the Division with 8 wins, ranks 6th in shutouts and 3rd in saves.

Charleston Battery (8-13-5, 29 points)

Charleston still has an outside shot to move up to sixth place with two matches remaining, Friday night at home against Seattle and their last match of the season against the Mariners at the Sportsplex. The Battery is coming off a 1-0 win over Portland on August 27 and a 1-1 draw with Richmond on August 20. Richmond just pulled out the tie on an 89th minute goal by McColm Cephas and Charleston returned the favor to Portland by scoring in the 88 minute for the 1-0 win.

Leading scorers: Alan Lubesky (4 goals, 1 assist, 9 points); Greg Simmonds (3 goals, 2 assists, 8 points). Lazo Alavanja ranks 3rd in shots in the Division with 49 in 25 games.

Goalkeeping: Chris Doyle (1.437 GAA, 4 shutouts, 52 saves in 15 games).

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