Romario Williams celebrates his third goal. Zach Bland photo.
Romario Williams’ first-half hat trick helped the Charleston Battery to a 5-0 win over longtime rival Rochester Rhinos Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium.
Williams scored Charleston’s first three goals within twelve minutes and added the assist on the fourth in the team’s first win over Rochester since 2014 and their first five-goal performance since 2013.
“Superhero night, right?” said Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser when asked about William’s performance. “He looked like Super Man out there tonight. I’m sure that’s what he wants to do every night. He’s had lots of chances in the first four matches and he did well to finish them off tonight. His performance was tremendous.”
Williams opened the scoring in the 15th minute. The center forward received the ball in the penalty area, dribbled through three Rochester defenders and calmly rolled the ball past goalkeeper Dan Lynd.
Williams doubled his goal total in the 25th minute when he ran down a Rhinos defender and poked the ball free toward Lynd’s goal. Williams made no mistake after getting himself 1-v-1 with the Rochester goalkeeper, slotting the ball in under Lynd’s left hand.
The Jamaicans’ assault on Rochester’s goal continued two minutes later when he connected with O’brian Woodbine on a long throw-in. Williams collected Woodbine’s throw around the penalty spot, turned and slotted the ball into the far corner of Lynd’s goal to complete his hat trick.
“It felt good,” said Williams. “I always know chances are going to come, and my job is to put them away when they come my way. It was a special night for myself and the team here at home. We always want to treat the fans to a good performance. We had a tough one last week, so it felt great to bounce back and get this result here tonight.”
Ataulla Guerra added Charleston’s fourth goal later on in the first half connecting several times with Williams during the build up. Williams ultimately found Guerra at the top of the penalty area and the Trinidadian attacker turned and fired a shot into the back post.
The Battery came out strong in the second half and continued to create quality scoring chances while keeping Rochester’s attack in check. Maikel Chang scored a fifth goal for Charleston in the 82nd minute. Heviel Cordoves found Chang with a pass and the Cuban midfielder bent a left-footed shot past Lynd.
Charleston will use the momentum from tonight’s win when they go on the road to face USL newcomers Tampa Bay Rowdies next Saturday. Charleston and Tampa are tied on nine points for the season.
CHARLESTON - Odisnel Cooper, Quinton Griffith, Taylor Mueller, O’brian Woodbine (Skylar Thomas, 61; yellow card, 83), Maikel Chang (goal, 82), Justin Portillo, Tah Brian Anunga (yellow card, 88), Kotaro Higashi, Ataulla Guerra (goal, 32; Ricky Garbanzo, 86), Romario Williams (goal, 15, 25, 27; Heviel Cordoves, 75)
Unused substitutes: Joe Kuzminsky, Dante Marini, Neveal Hackshaw, Ryan Arambula
ROCHESTER - Dan Lynd, Sergio Campbell, Todd Pratzner, Joe Farrell, James Ryan (yellow card, 59), Bradley Kamdem Fewo (Ryan Lee, 61), Mike Garzi, Wal Fall (yellow card, 56; Brandon Beresford, 71), Kenardo Forbes, Christian Francois, Rayane Boukemia (Jochen Graf, 61)
Unused substitutes: Tomas Gomez, Jordan Dover, Darius Madison, Ryan Felix