Monday, June 1, 2009

Charleston 2-0 Cleveland City Stars, Battery Outshine Stars to Extend Unbeaten Run

The Charleston Battery pushed its season-long unbeaten streak to nine games Saturday night blanking the Cleveland City Stars 2-0 at Blackbaud Stadium. Chris Williams and Kenji Treschuk each contributed their first goals of the season in the win. “Not a bad night all around,” said Battery head coach Mike Anhaeuser. “We didn’t create a lot of chances, but the chances we did create were quality. Once again we were strong in the back. I have no complaints.”The Battery (5-0-4, 19 points) remains the only unbeaten team in USL-1, and firmly positions the club in second place with one game in hand in the league table behind the Carolina RailHawks.Battery goalkeeper Dusty Hudock earned his league-leading seventh shutout on the season and fourth consecutive clean sheet, extending his shutout streak to 377 minutes. Despite falling to Carolina 1-0 less than 24 hours earlier, Cleveland (1-5-1, four points) did enter the match in a defensive shell as teams are wont to do at Blackbaud this year, pressing the Battery, and earning the first corner kick of the match, managing five shots on goal, none of which tested Hudock.After a conservative first 20 minutes, the Battery stepped up the pressure, forcing City goalkeeper Evan Bush to make a series of saves, keeping the pressing Battery at bay until the 38th minute when William opened scoring.Williams goal, his first of the season after re-entering the starting lineup in place of the injured Tsuyoshi Yoshitake, was the result of a long throw-in by Treschuk deep into the heart of a crowded six-yard box. Ian Fuller’s strong challenge forced a defender to misplay the ball off the back of his head toward the far post. All the unmarked Williams had to do was nod the Battery into the lead.“Growing up you always hear ‘Go to the back post, go to the back post.’ That’s what I did,” Williams said. “It was probably going in but I made sure.”Three minutes later it looked like the Battery had a second, this time off the head of Darren Spicer. Spicer started the series with a wicked 35-yard drive Bush did well to save but could not hold. Cleveland’s failure to fully clear the resulting corner kick allowed Fuller space just inside the penalty area. His dipping shot smacked off the woodwork and into the path of Spicer. The goal, however, was disallowed, the assistant referee flagging Spicer for coming into the play from an offside position.Treschuk tallied his first goal in a Battery uniform in the 77th minute to ensure the victory, winning the ball from a defender 30 yards from goal and driving a low right-footed shot that snuck just inside the far post. The Battery faces the Austin Aztex for a pair of matches, Friday, June 5 and Sunday, June 7, and return to Blackbaud Tuesday June 9 to open Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play versus Atlanta FC.

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