Battery Secure Road Victory in Eight-Goal Shootout at Loudoun

Charleston scored 5 goals en route to a road win over Loudoun United FC on Tuesday
Charleston scored 5 goals en route to a road win over Loudoun United FC on Tuesday(Charleston Battery)
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 10:35 PM EDT
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LEESBURG, Va. – It was a high-scoring affair at Segra Field as the Battery claimed a 3-5 road victory for their third-consecutive win Wednesday night. The scoring came early and often with goals by Claudio Repetto (2), Stavros Zarokostas, DZ Harmon and Zeiko Lewis (penalty) to outlast the Virginia club’s persistence. The win required a full ninety-minute effort from the Black and Yellow after Loudoun were unwavering with three first-half goals.

The first half fireworks started early which proved to be the eventual theme of the night. Claudio Repetto started the show in the 4th minute with his third goal of the season after DZ Harmon moved the ball towards the net and had a deflection go towards Repetto for the score. The Battery struck again in the 9th minute via a Stavros Zarokostas strike from the left side of the 6-yard box, assisted by Nicque Daley. Loudoun returned fire in the 22nd minute when Theodore Ku-Dipietro sent home a ball that rolled into the open center of the 18-yard box before his strike.

The goal-scoring action continued when Repetto connected with his former Coastal Carolina teammate, Harmon, once again to put the Battery ahead 1-3. The goal was Repetto’s fourth and the assist was Harmon’s second of the season. Repetto would leave the match in the 40th minute due to an apparent injury. Loudoun, undeterred, worked to even the score before the half, with a goal scored by Abdoul Amoustapha on a narrow angle in the 41st minute and an own goal conceded by Patrick Hogan in the 45th minute making the score 3-3. The half featured 15 shots between the two clubs, eight by Charleston and seven by Loudoun.

The second half did not kick off with the same fireworks as the half prior, but it was not short of intensity as both sides looked to break the deadlock. Charleston found their fourth goal of the evening in the 56th minute when DZ Harmon buried a header following a perfectly-placed free kick from Burke Fahling, who notched the assist. Loudoun pressed on to equalize again, with shots from Ku-Dipietro in the 73rd minute and Samson Sergi in the 81st minute, but both were saved by Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky.

The match was settled in the 90th minute when Zeiko Lewis converted from the penalty spot following a foul on DZ Harmon inside the box minutes prior. The Bermudan striker delivered a calm and collected shot to the bottom left corner that put the game away. Loudoun attempted the grab another goal in the dying minutes of the match, but Battery defender Leland Archer was there to dismantle Ku-Dipietro’s threat. On the day, Kuzminsky had four saves, two punches and one high claim while holding Loudoun to a scoreless second half. Charleston’s victory was also the first of the Di Rosa Derby between brothers Ben Di Rosa and Matt Di Rosa, who played against each other for the first time as professionals after being teammates at the University of Maryland.

Battery Head Coach Michael Anhaeuser was proud of the fight in his team after Loudoun tied the match at halftime.

“We go up 3-1 and you’re thinking you’re going to win, but they come back to tie it up at halftime,” said Anhaesuer. “We win the second half 2-0, you have to commend the guys for really settling down and coming into the second half to put on a performance to win the game.”

Anhaeuser credited Loudoun’s persistence in giving opposing teams a hard fight at Segra Field.

“We win it 5-3 and get out of [Loudoun] with six points [this year], other teams are going to struggle against them,” said Anhaeuser. “Even though they’re at the bottom of the division, it’s just tough to play here.”

Di Rosa credited the halftime adjustments to make the difference in breaking the 3-3 deadlock and securing the three points.

“We knew that playing the ball over the top might be effective and we know that we’re good on the counter, so we felt like we didn’t have to play around the back into the middle as much,” said Di Rosa. “We were happy to just reset and act like it’s a zero-zero game, forget the mistake that we made in the first half and just take care of the second half and get the win.”

As a whole, Di Rosa said the team is happy with the bounce-back second half performance to notch the victory.

“We got off to a good start to start the game, and then we were kind of upset with ourselves that we allowed a couple of late goals and allowed them to climb back into the game,” said Di Rosa. “But, we’re very proud of our second half performance, getting those three points is huge.”

The match meant a little extra for Di Rosa as he competed against his brother for the first time professionally.

“There was definitely some family excitement, we’ve been looking forward to this game for a while now,” said Di Rosa. “It was kind of crazy playing against each other, it felt weird out there but I am excited to get the win.”

The Battery will remain on the road for their next match on Sunday, August 1, against The Miami FC at Riccardo Silva Stadium. The game will have heavy Atlantic Division implications as the clubs are separated by just two points in the standings.