The Battery took a big step towards securing a playoff spot with a 2-0 win over Memphis 901 FC at MUSC Health Stadium on Wednesday night. Charleston pass Saint Louis in the Eastern Conference standings and will hold the 9th or 10th spot heading into Saturday’s match against Bethlehem Steel FC.
Memphis challenged for the opening goal ten minutes in following a corner kick. Marc Burch whipped in a dangerous cross at the near post and midfielder Nico Rittmeyer looked to clear the danger with a header. Rittmeyer's attempted clearance watched the ball fly above goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky, who was able to punch away in a crowded box. Kuzminsky's punch found the feet of Adam Najem who sent a rocket of a shot towards goal but Jarad van Schaik was able to block and clear the danger.
Zeiko Lewis and Arthur Bosua combined for an excellent chance in the 26th minute, and nearly put the Battery out to a 1-0 lead. Lewis collected a pass in Memphis' defensive third and turned towards goal looking for an opportunity to drive forward. Instead, the crafty attacker held up play and lofted a brilliant pass in toward Bosua, who did well to keep himself onside with a well-timed run. Bosua was able to get his head on it but lacked the power required to beat Memphis keeper Scott Levene. In the end, Levene was able to turn the shot over the crossbar and out for a Battery corner.
Charleston would cash in from a corner in the 30th minute, as captain Taylor Mueller headed home his second goal of the season to give the Battery a 1-0 lead. Lewis played an inswinging ball directed at the near post and Mueller was first to, flicking it past Levene who was left helpless. "We work on those sort of set pieces all the time," said coach Anhaeuser after the match. "He scored one like that against Loudoun and he's done it again for us tonight."
Lewis would double the Battery's lead in the 63rd minute, adding to his assist earlier in the match. Rittmeyer split two Memphis defenders before sprinting down the right side and delivering a pass in towards Lewis, who was waiting in the box. It looked as if Lewis would hit Rittmeyer's pass first time but the ball took a slight bobble, keeping the Bermuda international from having a go. Lewis fought off two defenders and controlled the ball long enough to slip a shot past Levene.
It was a fairly dominant performance from the Charleston side as they outshot (15 to 6) and out possessed Memphis. Kuzminsky made three saves in the contest to record his seventh clean sheet of the season. The Battery out possessed 901 FC by the slimmest of margins (50.1% to 49.9%) and won three more corners.