The Charleston Battery’s season came to a close Saturday night as the Black and Yellow fell 0-4 to The Miami FC at Patriots Point. The Battery faithful were out in full force through a blustery fall evening supporting the club to the final minute. Charleston would see several chances, but were unable to find the back of the net as the visitors put the game out of reach.
The Battery kicked off their season finale starting with pressure from the first minute when Zeiko Lewis tested goalkeeper Connor Sparrow with a shot from the center of the box that was saved. Romario Piggott took a shot a minute later, however the attempt was wide right of the post. Miami forced goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky to make a fine fingertip save in the 14th minute when Christiano Francois had a shot on target. Kuzminsky showed his quick reflexes again to make a save on Callum Chapman-Page’s header following a corner kick. Miami managed to strike first moments later when Ariel Martinez found the back of the net in the 17th minute.
Martinez looked to add a second goal in the 21st minute, but was unable to bend his shot inside the far post. Kuzminsky came up big again when Devon Williams sent in a shot that saw the keeper make an impressive diving save. Miami were able to break through the Battery defense again in the 34th minute when Joshua Perez found the back of the net. Stavros Zarokostas looked to counter on the other end with a shot from long range, only to see Sparrow save the attempt. The visitors headed into the break with the 0-2 advantage.
The second half began with MJ Petry substituting out of the match as the 18-year-old made his first career professional start during the night.
Both sides looked to size each other up in the first 15 minutes of the second half without a shot being taken until Ariel Martinez sent one in at the hour mark that was blocked. The Battery pushed ahead to level when Lewis forced Sparrow to make a save following a shot from the center of the box. Zeiko was Charleston’s top shot taker with four attempts on the night. Another notable moment came in the 68th minute when Roman Perez made his first career professional appearance, entering the game off the bench for Romario Piggott.
Among the Battery’s best looks on the night came in the 71st minute when Robbie Crawford sent a strong shot from just outside the box that rocked the right post. Angelo Kelly helped orchestrate another opportunity with a flash of skill to get through Miami’s defense initially, but the visitors ended up defusing the threat as the Battery entered the box. Miami added two more goals in quick succession in the 81st and 83rd minute to put the game away. The visitors 0-4 lead held through the end of the match as the Battery saw their 2021 campaign come to a close.
Battery Head Coach Michael Anhaeuser gave his assessment on the night’s showing.
“Well, it’s kind of been this way all season you know, we start the game well and make a little miscue, make a slip and go down one zero,” said Anhaeuser. “The second half we came out, started playing well, created some great chances, but [Miami] just seemed to bounce against us. All the best to Miami, you got to give them credit for putting chances away. It’s unfortunate for us.”
Anhaeuser applauded the fans for their passion one more time in the season finale at Patriots Point.
“The fans and the support has been tremendous throughout the whole season,” said Anhaeuser. “They showed you what they want and this great atmosphere here at Patriots Point is only going to get better.
“You have to commend them and thank them for coming out this whole season.”
Battery forward Zeiko Lewis said the team felt the energy from the crowd during the night.
“It’s always good to have the support of the fans,” said Lewis. “Without them, there really wouldn’t be any of us here. Every day we go out there, we play for them, we play for the badge on the front.”
The Battery wrapped up their season with a 10-15-7 record (37 pts), placing sixth in the Atlantic Division table.