The Charleston Battery played to a 2-2 draw against Loudoun United FC at Segra Field on Saturday. Tristan Trager struck first just 21 seconds into the game for the Battery in what turned out to be a back-and-forth night. Nick Markanich’s equalizer in the second half secured the Battery a point on the road, adding to the club’s league-leading away record.
The Battery’s night started as perfectly as they could have wanted to, as Tristan Trager scored the opening tally just 21 seconds into the match. The ball was not cleared by Loudoun in their defensive third and Andrew Booth played a smart header to Trager toward goal. From there, Trager clinically finished the chance for his third goal in two games. Booth was credited with the assist.
Trager’s tally is tied for the fastest goal in the league so far this year.
Loudoun, however, were undeterred in defending their home. The hosts equalized in the third minute via Kalil ElMedkhar in the 3rd minute.
Charleston continued to press for a second goal as the half progressed. Promising chances came midway through the half after Pierre Reedy’s header forced a save from Hugo Fauroux in the 25th minute. Nick Markanich hit the woodwork moments later.
Despite the efforts for another goal, the sides went into halftime tied at 1-1.
Both teams came out of the break searching for a breakthrough goal. Loudoun managed to take the lead in the 61st minute as Chris Hegardt found the back of the net.
However, this time it was the Battery who would make an immediate response. Markanich took a loose ball inside the box that was deflected by Emilio Ycaza and struck it perfectly off the volley to slice past Fauroux’s reach and into the top corner in the 64th minute. The goal was Markanich’s third against Loudoun this year and 10th across all competitions this year.
The intensity and physicality of the match began to ramp up as both teams fought for the winning goal. A total of 10 yellow cards were issued between the two sides. A key yellow card was shown to Markanich, who will now miss the next contest due to yellow card accumulation.
Charleston had two close chances in stoppage time to steal a victory. Fidel Barajas sent a close shot that was inches wide of the far post. Minutes later, Leland Archer sent in a header off a corner kick that was on target and forced a reflex save from Fauroux to keep it from going in.
Juan Sebastian Palma is shown his second card of the night in the 95th minute and was dismissed from the match and will also miss next Saturday’s game.
Loudoun’s defense held on to maintain the 2-2 score as the sides settled to split the points in a draw.
With the result, the Battery’s record stands at 15W-7L-8D (53 pts), placing them third in the conference standings. Charleston also added to their league-leading points won from losing a position (16) and league-best points won on the road (29).
Head Coach Ben Pirmann and defender Leland Archer discussed the result after the final whistle, with key quotes to follow.
Coach Pirmann on his immediate takeaways from tonight’s match…
We knew going into it that [Loudoun would] be really good in transition. We scored 21 seconds in and then five minutes in, they scored in transition. The big picture is that we’re constantly improving the growth mindset. Disappointed in the result, we could have won for sure. We talked at halftime about managing emotions, being called in the penalty box, not committing fouls and that got away from us a little bit. Our guys worked their tails off, they worked hard. [Loudoun have] good players, they’re well coached. It was going to be a back-and-forth game. We’re disappointed that we didn’t get all three points, but it’s not always going to go your way.
Coach Pirmann on the lessons learned tonight ahead of the postseason…
These games are playoff games. Tulsa next weekend is going to tough coming in, they’re fighting for their lives. We’re fighting for our lives, so we’ve got four regular season playoff games and then the real playoffs. You can’t be casual in the build up or training. We were dialed in, we were focused and we started great.
The lesson is that we have to make sure that we’re really dialed in from the very finite details and that we’re well prepared from the coaching side. Scored two goals, but we have got to find a way to win the game. We probably should have scored some more, but that’s football.
Coach Pirmann on the Battery supporters who traveled to Loudoun…
Our supporters came up, whether they’re from the metro area or they drove the eight hours, and we wanted to play for them. It’s an honor to represent the Black and Yellow and the Charleston Battery community. You put that badge on and the jersey is a heavy jersey, but it’s fun. It’s exciting. They felt it and that’s who we played for.
Archer on his breakdown of the match…
Tough game. Teams fighting for playoffs, so every game is going to matter. They neutralized our threats and it frustrated us a little bit and forced us into some errors. We’re happy to come away with a point. It is good to come back from behind, but we don’t want to be in these positions. We want to be up on these teams at all times.
Archer on how the team will use the night to prep for the playoffs…
We’re gonna go back home and do some film, correct what we did wrong in this game and take it into our next game. Every game matters. We want the three points and get that home playoff game, so hopefully, we keep that mindset.
Archer on the fans who traveled to support in the stands tonight…
It was nice to see [the fans]. It’s not many road trips where they made the trek, but it was good to see them out here supporting us. We hear them in the background, cheering us on, and it gives us that little push.
The Battery return to Patriots Point on Sat., Sept. 23, to take on FC Tulsa for Hispanic Heritage Night presented by Berkeley Electric Cooperative. Tickets are available now via SeatGeek.com, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider.
CHS: Muse, Archer, Reedy (Barajas, 46’), Booth (Allan, 46’), Ycaza (Wynne, 90’), Markanich (Cochran, 90’+), Dodson, Crawford, Trager, Palma, Avila (Williams, 58’)
LDN: Fauroux, Neville, Leerman, Turner, Koanda, Morris, Hegardt, Garay, Rocha, Elmedkhar, Ryan
CHS – Tristan Trager 1’ (Andrew Booth)
LDN – Kalil ElMedkhar 3’
LDN – Chris Hegardt 61’
CHS – Nick Markanich 64’ (Emilio Ycaza)