Forrest Lasso’s second-half header lifted the Charleston Battery to a 1-0 win over Saint Louis FC at MUSC Health Stadium Saturday night.
Despite being out-possessed, the Battery controlled the match from the outset. Charleston dictated the pace of the game throughout and created several quality scoring opportunities prior to Lasso’s goal which came in the 62nd minute.
“The guys were tremendous tonight,” said Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser. “We were very unlucky in the first half not to get a goal because we played so well. It shows that we have character, they kept working and grinding until they broke through. It was great to get another three points.”
Lasso goal came when he got on the end of a Justin Portillo free kick served into the box from 40 yards out. The 6-5 center back rose above the defenders and nodded the ball back across goalkeeper Adam Grinwis to give the Battery a 1-0 lead. The goal was Lasso’s fourth of the season and the assist was Portillo’s fifth.
Charleston kept a solid defensive shape throughout the match, limiting Saint Louis to one shot on goal. Odisnel Cooper earned his second consecutive shutout and third of the year Saturday night.
“We focused really hard this week on our communication and movement,” said Lasso after the match. “Our back five, including Cooper, is phenomenal, but the defensive effort includes all 11 players. It starts from the front with Ataulla (Guerra) and Romario (Williams); they set the tone for us and we go from there.”
The 1-0 result capped off an impressive three-game home stretch for the Battery. Charleston earned seven of a possible nine points and kept two clean sheets during the run. Saturday’s win preserves the Battery’s two point lead at the top of the table heading into a tough run of road matches.
Charleston will play away from MUSC Health Stadium for four consecutive matches beginning with Wednesday’s US Open Cup tie with the Atlanta Silverbacks at Silverbacks Park. Kickoff for the second round match is scheduled for 3:30 PM. The Battery return to USL play the following Saturday to take on Harrisburg City Islanders at Skyline Sports Complex.
CHARLESTON: Odisnel Cooper, Quinton Griffith (Skylar Thomas, 85), Taylor Mueller, Forrest Lasso (yellow card, 16; goal, 62), O’Brian Woodbine, Kotaro Higashi, Justin Portillo (assist, 62), Tah Brian Anunga (yellow card, 68), Dante Marini (Maikel Chang, 75), Ataulla Guerra (Ricky Garbanzo, 89), Romario Williams
Unused substitutes: Joe Kuzminsky, Neveal Hackshaw, Heviel Cordoves, Jeffrey Otoo
SAINT LOUIS: Adam Grinwis, AJ Cochran (Erick Cabalceta, 46), Konrad Plewa, Aedan Stanley, Wes Charpie, Tony Walls, Dragan Stoijko (yellow card, 90), Mats Bjurman, Sebastian Dalgaard (Jose Angulo, 70), Tyler David (Brandon Barklage, 46), Christian Volesky
Unused substitutes: Devala Gorrick, Seth Rudolph, Dennis Ahmetduic, Austin Leobetter