Battery draw 1-1 with Galaxy II as Hogan scores, Fauroux tallies 10 saves
Charleston battle Los Angeles to earn a point to close August away stand
CARSON, Calif. – The Charleston Battery earned a point Saturday in a hard-fought 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy II at Dignity Health Sports Park. Patrick Hogan opened the scoring in the first half and goalkeeper Hugo Fauroux notched a season-high 10 saves during the evening. Galaxy II, however, would level late in the second half to see the points shared. The Battery wrap up a three-match away stand and will look to build upon their recent success when they return to Patriots Point on August 27 against Detroit City FC.
Action started with both sides conceding ground in the opening moments as they each settled in. The first shot on target wasn’t registered until the 7th minute, with goalkeeper Hugo Fauroux making a save against Cameron Dunbar. The Battery’s press developed as the match matured and they forced Galaxy II into some nervy situations at the back, winning three corner kicks midway through the half. Augustine Williams appeared to have scored in the 24th minute, but the striker was flagged for offside and the goal was chalked off.
After the pressure continued to mount, Charleston broke the deadlock in the 35th minute when Patrick Hogan scored off a Robbie Crawford corner kick. Hogan towered over everyone inside the box and his header tucked the ball inside the right post. The goal was the defender’s first of the season, second of his career, and Crawford’s first assist since rejoining the Battery.
The Battery held the 0-1 lead into halftime despite Los Angeles owning the majority of shots and possession. Fauroux tallied three saves in the opening 45 minutes.
Play resumed with the hosts eager to erase their deficit. Preston Judd fired a shot on target 20 seconds into the half that Fauroux was up to the task to parry away. Charleston continued to apply pressure on the opposite end, with Williams and Avionne Flanagan both coming close to scoring before the hour-mark. Judd again went to test Fauroux with a pair of shots but the first rocked off the crossbar and the other was saved by the French shot-stopper.
Fauroux continued to go the distance between the pipes and would rack up seven saves through 80 minutes. Los Angeles, however, managed to equalize in the 83rd minute via Joshua Drack off a free-kick. Fauroux was able to get a glove on the shot but not enough to divert it from going in. The hosts seemed to have taken the lead in the 86th minute but this time it was Judd who was flagged for offside, disallowing the goal.
After a series of spirited, but unsuccessful, attempts at a second goal from both sides through stoppage time, the night ended 1-1 and the points were shared. Fauroux set a new season-high for himself, registering 10 saves against Galaxy II – just two weeks after setting the previous high of seven, against Louisville City FC.
Battery Head Coach Conor Casey and defender Patrick Hogan discussed the match after the final whistle, with key quotes to follow.
Coach Casey on his overall assessment of tonight’s performance…
“I think that the team worked incredibly hard, which was really good to see that they’re together and they put in a really big shift, physically, tonight. I thought we had a good first half but in the second half, we had trouble getting pressure on the ball. That led us to have to defend a lot longer than we had wanted to. Los Angeles were better than us in the second half. It’s good to get a point on the road, but it would have been nicer for us to close the game out a bit better both with the ball and in transition moments while capitalizing on our chances.”
Coach Casey on what was clicking with the squad against Los Angeles…
“They were all together tonight. I think that we were pressing well, and I think that when we got into the final third, we were able to keep LA under pressure, which was good. So, it was an overall good performance. I just think that, in the second half, we maybe could have done a bit better job managing the ball to give ourselves a little bit of a break defending. I felt that our back line played well tonight. They were under a lot of pressure but made some big plays. So all across the back line, I thought it was very good. Augi worked extremely hard up top again, which was good to see, and Robbie put in a good shift tonight, too.”
Coach Casey on turning the page to Detroit at home next Saturday…
“It’ll be a different challenge next week. But, Detroit is a team that likes to get numbers behind the ball, much like Galaxy II do. So, we’ll be looking at solutions this week to be able to break down teams when they have a lot of guys in their box and behind the ball.”
Hogan on the set piece that led to his first goal of the season…
“Before the game, Robbie and I were talking about where I should run to on corners and where he should serve the ball. Actually, AJ and I switched positions on it, he ran to the front post and I ran to where he was supposed to go. So, I guess I lucked out. I picked the defender on AJ, I lost my defender, got up and won the header. It was a combination of preparation, communication and my height. My height should make me a target on set pieces and in college, I really excelled at them, so to get a goal away was extremely nice. We should have gotten the three points, but it’s definitely an exciting moment for me.”
Hogan on what he saw on the defensive performance tonight…
“We weren’t on the front foot in the second half, I think we defended like hell and they ended up getting a decent free kick to tie the game. I think we need to build on that and improve for next weekend, to tighten up defensively. We also just need to finish the game off, we need to get that next goal and put teams away. That way, we can take a lot of the pressure off ourselves, the back line and our goalkeeper to get another clean sheet. Hugo Fauroux made a ton of saves today and helped us out a lot, his communication keeps us alert in the game and that’s what we need from our starting keeper, whether that’s him, Daniel Kuzemka or Joe Kuzminsky. Those guys help us keep going when we’re tired and if we’re not as loud along the back line because of that.”
Hogan on the key takeaways to build upon for the next match vs. Detroit…
“I think we need to keep building on all this. We put in a good performance against New York last week and I thought tonight we worked our tails off and put in another good performance. It’s just finishing these games off and making sure we get the results. There are certain moments in the game that we need to be better, especially in the first and last 10 minutes of each half. So, getting on the front foot and staying on the front foot, that way we can keep attacking teams instead of maybe dropping back and defending.”
The Battery travel back to set preparations for hosting Detroit City FC on Saturday, August 27, at Patriots Point. It will be Detroit’s first-ever visit to the Holy City as the Battery celebrate College Night at the stadium. Tickets are still available for the August 27 match via SeatGeek, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider.
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