10-Man Battery Defeat Hartford Thanks to Rodriguez’s Late Winner

Published: Apr. 9, 2023 at 1:04 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (April 8, 2023) – The Charleston Battery defeated Hartford Athletic 3-2 on Saturday at Patriots Point thanks to late-game heroics from Arturo Rodriguez and his stoppage-time goal. Nick Markanich and Augi Williams provided earlier goals for the Battery, but Hartford kept pace until the very end. The victory extends the Battery’s unbeaten run to five games in 2023, across all competitions.

The action began with a contentious start, indicating the intensity from both sides to set the tone for the night. Hartford struck first in the 13th minute with a goal from Prince Saydee, dealing the Battery their first deficit of 2023.

Charleston were undeterred, however, and pressed forward to level the score. They did that in the 35th minute when Nick Markanich found the back of the net, his third goal of 2023. Derek Dodson kept the play alive after his strike from inside the box was blocked. Dodson collected the rebound and then found Markanich inside the six-yard box with a curling cross for the goal.

The Battery appeared to have taken the lead in the 43rd minute when Augi Williams put the ball into the net, however the goal was disallowed for offside. Charleston and Hartford went into the interval tied at 1-1.

Play resumed with Charleston eager to claim the lead as the rain began to pour heavily at Patriots Point. Williams put the Battery ahead in the 50th minute with a stunning strike from the edge of the box, assisted by Fidel Barajas. The goal was his fourth against Hartford with the Battery since last season, and Barajas’ third assist of the 2023 campaign.

Hartford managed to level the score in the 60th minute via Conor McGlynn after the Athletic’s set piece play was never fully cleared by the hosts.

The Battery were dealt an additional wave of adversity when they were reduced to 10 men after Dante Polvara was shown a red card in the 76th minute. The visitors thought they had the lead a moment later but Kye Edwards’ goal was chalked off for offside. Both teams continued to work hard for the match-winning goal as the game wore on.

Charleston would find glory at the death thanks to heroics from Arturo Rodriguez, who scored the match-winning goal off a free kick in the 94th minute. Rodriguez sent the ball in from the edge of the sideline, it then took one bounce and went past everyone untouched. The goal was Rodriguez’s first for the Battery and could not have come at a better time.

The Battery’s 3-2 extended their win streak to three games and unbeaten streak to five, across all competitions.

The night was also noteworthy for Jesse Randall as the 20-year-old New Zealand youth international made his club debut as a substitute in the 72nd minute.

After the final whistle, Nick Markanich and Head Coach Ben Pirmann, the latter unavailable for today’s match while serving a red card suspension, discussed the victory, with key quotes to follow.

Markanich on his immediate takeaways from the match..

It was a crazy game, the team fought hard and I’m proud of the team. We fought to the very end, I’m proud of the guys coming off the bench. We all worked as a team towards the end and came away with three points. I think we were just enjoying it out there and the guys are all coming together. That was helping me and the team a lot.

Markanich on the team’s tenacity to fight back after going down early…

Like I said, I’m proud of the guys. It was the first time we were down [this season]. We’re proud that the team fought back. We fought to the very end. That’s all that matters, that we got all three points.

Coach Pirmann on the character shown by the team…

The first thing we talked about pretty much every day in training and in every match is our fight, our mentality, and our spirit. If you’re not the hardest working team on the field, then don’t turn up.

Fair due to Hartford; that was a crazy game that could have gone either way, 50-50. Like I said yesterday, it’s the little details, getting it at the end there, they’re fantastic. We got two more games coming up this week, so we’ve got to keep fighting. It’s all about our fight or desire our energy.

Coach Pirmann on the team overcoming the adversity of the night…

It went down a goal. Then, we were up a goal. Then the weather and all these crazy conditions. They just kept battling. So first and foremost, the players and the staff, I’m unbelievably proud of them. We’ve got a long, long way to go. But it’s moments like these, that give us belief and give us tremendous desire. So I’m proud of the boys.

Coach Pirmann on his message to the fans who stuck it out through the elements…

I remember in November when I took this job, I said that our supporters are going to have a team that they’re going to feel every moment with. We’re going to feed off of them, they’re gonna feed off of us. It was a disaster tonight with the weather, so to those that turned up, we have nothing but thanks. Hopefully we rewarded them with three points for sure, but also our performance. Let’s hope we can keep doing it again.

The Battery travel for two away matches next week, to Tampa Bay and then to Tulsa, before returning home on Sat., April 22, for a match against Louisville City FC. That game will be followed by a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match on Tues., April 25, and a regular season match on Sat., April 29th, both at Patriots Point. Tickets are available for the regular season matches now via SeatGeek.com, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider. Tickets for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on April 25, will be released on SeatGeek.com next week.

Scoring Summary

HFD - 13′ Prince Saydee

CHS - 35′ Nick Markanich (Derek Dodson assist)

CHS - 50′ Augi Williams (Fidel Barajas assist)

HFD - 60′ Conor McGlynn

CHS - 94′ Arturo Rodríguez


CHS: Muse, Wynne, Paterson, Archer, Allan, Polvara, Barajas (Rodríguez, 72′), Dodson, Williams, Markanich (Schmidt, 84′), Trager (Randall, 72′)

HFD: Sánchez, Rad, Hodge (Lapert, 58′), Saydee, Amoh (Edwards, 66′), Barrera, Cedeño, Sheldon, McGlynn, Hoppenot, Logue