Avila’s goal secures Battery 1-0 win over Memphis

Published: Aug. 27, 2023 at 12:04 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (August 26th, 2023) – The Charleston Battery defeated Memphis 901 FC 1-0 at Patriots Point on Saturday in front of a crowd of over 4,000 strong. Beto Avila’s goal in the first half proved to make the difference as Ben Pirmann’s men took home three big points amid a heated race for playoff positioning. Goalkeeper Trey Muse tallied his ninth shutout of the season in the win.

Charleston started the match similar to the first meeting between the two sides, on the front foot and applying heavy pressure early on. However, a shot on target wouldn’t be registered through the quarter-hour mark by either team.

Beto Avila broke open the game in the 17th minute with a stunning strike from short distance and through a tight window past goalkeeper Drew Romig. Chris Allan provided the assist for the goal against his former club, leading Avila down the right side. From there, Avila flashed his shiftiness to get around one defender and then tucked the ball between Romig and the near post.

The goal was Avila’s third of the season and second against 901 FC in as many games. Allan’s assist was his second of the year, first in league play.

Charleston continued to take the game to Memphis while looking to double their lead as the half progressed. The visitors managed only one shot on target against Trey Muse, which he saved in the 24th minute.

The 1-0 scoreline held to halftime, setting the stage for a crucial second half of play.

Play resumed with the Battery looking to maintain their command of the game while limiting Memphis’ chances. The visitors did start to find their footing and challenge Charleston’s defense more than they did in the first half.

Muse was tested early on, making a save in the 47th minute and the 57th minute to keep 901 FC at bay.

Despite relinquishing over 60% possession to the opposition in the second half, Charleston smartly saw out the game with a 1-0 lead in hand. Memphis did not have a shot on target again after the hour mark.

The Battery secured the 1-0 victory, their first over Memphis since 2019, handing them a major boost in their playoff aspirations. The win helps affirm Charleston’s spot in the top four with a record 13W-7L-7D (46 pts), which would allow them to host a playoff game in the opening round.

Saturday’s victory was a noteworthy one for Ben Pirmann, who tallied his 50th career victory in the USL Championship regular season and it was one that came at the expense of his former club.

Trey Muse also notched a new career high for shutouts in a season. The win was his ninth of 2023, surpassing his mark of eight last year.

Head Coach Ben Pirmann and goalkeeper Trey Muse discussed the victory with the media after the final whistle, with key quotes to follow.

Coach Pirmann on the significance of tonight’s win…

What a night. Huge crowd. Great performance. Beto, great goal, great team goal. We drew them out of their press, got in behind and then a clever finish. It wasn’t pretty, but these are all playoff games. This is a huge match. They were tired midweek. We got tired at the end, but we’ve done real well.

Proud of these boys, proud of this club, proud of everything. We’ve played four really, really great games in a row at home. That’s three points, but that’s a big one right there. [This win] is massive. If you look at the table, [Memphis are] right behind us, so it’s a six-point swing. It’s a massive, massive result. We’re at home. We didn’t play well in L.A., we wanted a big response. We got that.

On top of that, look, we’ve got four players on this team and myself and coach Devin [Rensing], who were [at Memphis last year]. We played a great game against them in Memphis and came out with zero points. We wanted to make sure we got all three points. But, it’s way more about us, way more about the team, where we’re at in the table and pushing on. Seven more [games] to keep going.

Coach Pirmann on the offense’s performance tonight…

We had a few chances. Fidel [Barajas] had a lot of chances. Tristan [Trager] had the break. We had a couple of shots, they made a save and then we got the goal. The chances were there to be created, you’ve got to finish them and Beto did.

It was all about being selfless tonight. It was hot, it was hard. [Memphis are] probably the top most-talented team of the entire division. You have to fight [and] you have to be warriors. You have to look out for each other and we did. Excellent, excellent work. The most important thing being three points and then just get ready for next week.

Muse on the importance of securing three points tonight…

Huge. [The win] separates us in the standings with seven games ago. It’s massive. I think it’s always good to win. It’s always great to win at home as well. Awesome support here from the fans tonight. As we’re making a push into the late stages and into the playoffs, every game is important. To be able to build on a win like that is huge.

Muse on the team turning in a complete performance in the win…

It’s huge. It takes a lot of pressure off of us in the back. Sometimes we start slow a little bit, sometimes we’ve given up a goal here and there before we can score. So, to be able to consolidate that with the goal early on is huge for us. [Chris Allan] doesn’t pop up on the stats sheet all of the time, but he’s the glue inside the middle of our team. He holds that together and he’s massive on and off the ball. Chris’s impact for us is massive and he just makes a huge difference for us; he was winning tackles, he was making the right passes, getting up and down the field. It’s difficult to do. It’s a long season and he’s working really hard playing the game. He’s done fantastic today.

Muse on hitting a new career-high for shutouts in a season…

It’s good. No, I think it’s not just my award, I get my name slapped on that, I guess it’s not even an award, but a statistic, [but] it’s the defenders. Myself, I’ve got to come up in certain moments, but they do such a great job. They’re blocking shots or putting their body on the line. If I’m needed to make a play, I can, but the guys in front of me, they’re huge for this.

The Battery depart for the Southwest next week to play New Mexico United on Sat., Sept. 2. Charleston then return to Patriots Point on Sat., Sept. 9, to take on San Diego Loyal. Tickets are available now via SeatGeek.com, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider.