Battery cruise past Clovers in 4-1 Open Cup win, advance to Third Round
CHARLESTON, S.C. (April 4, 2023) – The Charleston Battery defeated Savannah Clovers FC 4-1 at Patriots Point on Tuesday in the Second Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Robbie Crawford, Augi Williams, Nick Markanich and Tristan Trager scored to advance the Battery to the Third Round of the Open Cup. Charleston native Charlie Dennis made his professional debut for his hometown team during the victory. The Battery now turn their focus to Saturday for a home league match against Hartford Athletic.
Charleston opened the match on the front foot and peppered the Savannah with shots early and often. Goalkeeper Jack Pondy and the Clovers FC defense were up to the task, however, and the visitors kept the game scoreless through the first half-hour.
The Battery’s pressure paid off when Robbie Crawford broke the deadlock in the 36th minute off a corner kick. Crawford returned the half-cleared corner back in and it took a deflection off a Savannah defender before going bar down for the goal. It was Crawford’s second career U.S. Open Cup goal in as many appearances.
After halftime, the Battery were quick to pick up where they left off. Augi Williams, who subbed on late in the first half, made a quick impact to double the Battery’s lead, assisted by AJ Paterson. Tristan Trager initiated the score with some expert hold-up play that allowed Paterson and Williams to connect.
Trager would then find the back of the net in the 62nd minute to make it 3-0, his first goal with the Battery. Newly subbed-on Deklan Wynne made an immediate impact to record the assist on the play, finding Trager inside the box for the goal. Savannah would pull a goal back in the 75th minute via Andres Sanchez.
Charleston responded quickly to Savannah’s strike when substitute Nick Markanich scored just a minute later, assisted again by Wynne. The goal was Markanich’s second with the club and was the final dagger to seal the 4-1 victory.
The night was one to remember for Charlie Dennis as the Charleston native made his professional debut during the win as a substitute in the 72nd minute.
With the victory, the Battery now advance to the Third Round of the U.S. Open Cup, where they could be paired with an MLS team, that enter the tournament during that round. The draw for Third Round pairings will take place on Thurs., April 6 at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on the Bleacher Report (B/R) App and B/R Football YouTube channel.
Coach Pirmann on his takeaways from tonight’s match…
The biggest thing right now for games this season is making sure we’re improving. I thought our ball speed was pretty good, we did a good job of creating a lot of chances. Whether it was restarts, run of play, slip passes, this selflessness was pretty good. We scored four goals, obviously we would prefer a shutout. We’ll just keep getting better.
Coach on the depth of the squad and next-man-up mentality…
We saw that against Tampa, AJ Cochran and Sebastian Palma stepped into center-back, they hadn’t played a minute prior but they were training great for months. So, you’re seeing guys step up. That’s a coach’s dream, to be able to have a lot of good players to choose from. That’s why we constantly talk about improvements and getting better. We go again against a really good Hartford team, so it’s going to be next man up and making sure we’re ready to go.
Coach on building towards Saturday’s match…
You’re going to have two teams that are trending upward. They’re really well-coached, they’re very electric in the attack. They’ve got a top team. We’re gonna suffer, so we just have to make sure that we try to make them suffer as much as possible. But, it’s about improving. We got a little bit better tonight, now we have three more days of prep before we hit play on Saturday.
Coach on Charleston native Charlie Dennis making his debut…
It’s always good [when a player makes a debut], especially local players. When I took the job, I wanted to put a priority on having the local youth involved. Charlie got the opportunity tonight. Over the next five to 10 years, we want, every single night, young players from the Lowcountry area performing for our club.
Trager on tonight’s performance…
That was a good performance. [My] first Open Cup game, so I was excited to play against a different type of team. I thought the energy level was good and we wanted to get better and improve. It was good to get a few goals and get a good result.
Trager on his first goal with the Battery…
It was a super, super good feeling. Kind of a sigh of relief, just to get that first goal and hopefully more to come. Me and Deklan, we came in and we were working well just in and around the box. The ball got out to him and he slipped it back to me inside of the 18-yard box. I just took a touch and then hit it with my left foot.
Trager on the approaching the Hartford game on Saturday…
We have got four games in 16 days, so it’s just important to keep taking care of our bodies. It was nice to get a result. We just have to keep the mentality that we’re not going to be one and done. We’re gonna keep trying to improve and get the results coming.
The Battery are back at Patriots Point this Sat., April 8, to face Hartford Athletic, the first of three home league matches in April, as Charleston look to build on the undefeated start to the season. Tickets are available now via SeatGeek.com, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider.
CHS - 36′ Robbie Crawford
CHS - 50′ Augi Williams (AJ Paterson)
CHS - 62′ Trager (Wynne)
SAV - 75′ Sanchez
CHS - 76′ Markanich (Wynne)
CHS: Apodaca, Booth (Williams, 41′), Cochran, Crawford (Archer, 58′), Kuzemka, Palma, Paterson (Cap) (Wynne, 58′), Polvara (Dennis, 72′), Rodriguez (Markanich, 58′), Schmidt, Trager
SAV: Barrow man, Bunting, Hargreaves, Hunt, Ierides (Quintanilla, 66′), Moyers (Villafrade, 77′), Pondy, Sanchez (Woods, 76′), Tait (Pomozov, 58′), Wichmann (Martinez, 46′), Wright
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