The Charleston Battery defeated the Harrisburg City Islanders by a score of two goals to one in a USL PRO quarterfinal match on Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium. Nicki Paterson and Tony Donatelli both scored back to back in the final minutes of the first half to lift the Battery to victory.
The Islanders opened scoring in the 15th minute when midfielder Tom Mellor carried the ball down the left side of the field catching the Battery defense on their heels. Mellor played a fast early ball into Brian Ombiji's feet on the back post to find Andrew Dykstra out of position and tap it home.
In the 40th minute the Battery rallied to level the score. The play started when Nicki Paterson laid the ball to Tony Donatelli who took a shot that deflected off the near post. The ball bounced back creating chaos in the 18-yard-box and a handball was called on an Islander defender awarding Charleston with a penalty kick. Nicki Paterson took the shot and crushed it home to even up the score.
With the momentum the Battery edged another goal just before the halftime whistle. Tony Donatelli passed the ball into forward Jose Cuevas' feet who turned and held it up. Donatelli continued his run through the center of the field and Cuevas played him a well-timed ball through for a breakaway to beat goalkeeper Nick Noble a second time.
Harrisburg fought hard in the second period to try and find an equalizer but the Battery defense held firm as Charleston worked in unison to prevent the Islanders from finding a way back into the game.
The Battery almost added a third goal in stoppage time after Mark Wilste found himself free at half field and took a fifty yard breakaway to goal. As he approached the goalkeeper he slipped the ball to net but his effort rolled just wide.
With the win the Battery advance to the USL PRO playoff semifinals and will face the Rochester Rhinos next Friday, August 31st at Sahlen's Stadium (1340 AM).
Scoring Summary Goal (Assist) Minute
Harrisburg Ombiji (Mellor) 15
Charleston Paterson 40
Charleston Donatelli (Cuevas) 45
Charleston Battery: Andrew Dykstra, John Wilson, Cody Ellison, Colin Falvey, Mike Azira, Mark Wiltse (Prince), Tony Donatelli, Ryan Richter (Mueller), Amadou Sanyang, Nicki Paterson, Jose Cuevas
SHOTS: 21; SAVES: 4; FOULS: 8; CORNER KICKS: 7; OFFSIDES: 3; PENALTY KICKS: Nicki Paterson; CAUTIONS: Ryan Richter, Nicki Paterson; EJECTIONS: (NONE)
Harrisburg City Islanders: Noble, Basso, Marshall, Jordon, Duckett, Pelletier (Pettis), Noone (Yates) , Welker (Ekra), Mellor (McLaughlin), Ombiji (Touray), Mkosana
SHOTS: 8; SAVES: 3; FOULS: 18; CORNER KICKS: 4; OFFSIDES: 2; PENALTY KICKS: (NONE); CAUTIONS: Pelletier, Mellor, Basso; EJECTIONS: (NONE)