Charleston Battery Clinches USL PRO Playoff Berth

Dane Kelly has hat trick in victory against Pittsburgh

 

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery clinched a place in the USL PRO Playoffs as Dane Kelly had a hat trick in a 4-0 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium. The Battery became the fifth team to clinch a playoff berth, with three places remaining to be claimed in the final week of the season.

USL PRO Week24 Review - Charleston Battery

The Battery pressured the Riverhounds for much of the first half and took the lead in the 38th minute when Kelly was played into space by Zach Prince, and the Jamaican drove an excellent shot into the right corner of the net. The Riverhounds had a chance to level in first-half stoppage time, but Jose Angulo’s penalty kick was saved by Odisnel Cooper.

 

Kelly added a second two minutes after the break as he scored on a fine solo effort after picking up possession just inside the Riverhounds’ half. Kelly stepped around his defender and sped into the penalty area, and lifted his finish into the net to make it 2-0.

 

Kelly’s speed was again a factor in his third seven minutes later as he out-paced Pittsburgh’s defense before finishing low past an advancing Hunter Gilstrap. The goal was Kelly’s 10th of the season, his second consecutive season with double-digit goals.

 

The Battery rounded out the victory in the 67th minute as Prince added a goal to his earlier assist. The midfielder wove past a pair of defenders 25 yards from goal and fired a shot into the top-right corner of the net to seal all three points and book the Battery’s place in the postseason.

 

MONDAY

 

SEATTLE RESERVES 5, ARIZONA 1: Sean Okoli had two goals and an assist as the Seattle Sounders Reserves took victory against Arizona United SC at the Starfire Sports Complex.

 

The Sounders Reserves held the upper hand for much of the first half and took the lead in 28th minute when Lamar Neagle was able to finish from close range. Okoli added a pair of goals before the halftime break and provided the assist as Tristan Bowen made it 4-0 in the 65th minute. London Woodberry pulled a goal back for United from a corner with 15 minutes to go, but Kenny Cooper’s late goal restored Seattle’s four-goal advantage.

 

WEDNESDAY

 

LA GALAXY II 1, REAL SALT LAKE RESERVES 0: Charlie Rugg had the only goal as the LA Galaxy II clinched a home quarterfinal in the USL PRO Playoffs with victory against the Real Salt Lake Reserves at the StubHub Center.

 

Los Dos’ goal arrived in the 20th minute as Rugg got on the end of a free kick by Andre Auras from 35 yards out. The floated delivery was flicked home by Rugg into the right corner past an advancing Lalo Fernandez, who was unable to claim the delivery as he came off his line.

 

SACRAMENTO 3, CHARLESTON 1: Sacramento Republic FC moved into second place in the USL PRO standings as Rodrigo Lopez had a pair of goals in its victory against the Charleston Battery at Bonney Field.

 

Lopez gave Republic FC the lead in the 12th minute when he volleyed home a poor clearance in the Battery penalty area, but Charleston hit back four minutes later as Colin Falvey put home a free kick by Jose Cuevas to level the score. Lopez struck again in the 25th minute, however, as he drove home a shot from 25 yards for his ninth goal of the season, and Sacramento wrapped up the victory with eight minutes to go as Steven Evans swept home a cut-back from Dakota Collins into the left corner.

 

THURSDAY

 

WILMINGTON 3, ORLANDO 1: Wilmington Hammerheads FC took a big step toward the USL PRO Playoffs as Mark-Anthony Kaye had a goal and an assist in a victory against Orlando City SC at Legion Stadium.

 

The Hammerheads struck quickly as Corben Bone opened the scoring in the third minute. Orlando got back on level terms as Austin da Luz equalized four minutes before the halftime break, but Wilmington regained the lead at the hour mark as Sunny Jane centered for Kaye to finish from close range. Kaye then set up Sammy Ochoa to wrap up all three points in stoppage time to give Wilmington a big boost in the playoff race.

 

FRIDAY

 

PITTSBURGH 1, CHARLOTTE 0: The Pittsburgh Riverhounds got a late goal from Miroslav Cabrilo as they kept their playoff hopes alive with victory against the Charlotte Eagles at Queens Sports Complex.

 

The Riverhounds had a goal ruled out just before the halftime break as Jose Angulo was offside as he stabbed home a low shot by Danny Earls. Charlotte went close through Fred Sekyere just past the hour mark, but Pittsburgh scored the only goal from a corner kick with 14 minutes to go as Cabrilo rose to head home a corner by Matt Dallman to earn a vital three points.

 

SATURDAY

 

ROCHESTER 4, HARRISBURG 1: The Rochester Rhinos earned their first regular-season victory at Skyline Sports Complex and moved into a strong position in the USL PRO Playoff race as they took victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders.

 

Rochester opened the scoring after only 42 seconds as a cross by Jonathan Mendoza was turned into his own net by City Islanders defender Coady Andrews. Harrisburg hit back midway through the first half as Morgan Langley scored his sixth goal of the season after a chipped pass by Yann Ekra.

 

The Rhinos took control again early in the second half, however, as Alec Sundly scored from close range to restore their lead. Banks added a third in the 66th minute as he recorded his ninth goal of the season, while Babacar Diallo wrapped up the victory with a close-range finish following a corner kick.

 

ORANGE COUNTY 1, RICHMOND 1: Orange County Blues FC earned a point against the Richmond Kickers as Andrew Hoxie scored the equalizer at Anteater Stadium.

 

The Blues had been eliminated from playoff contention prior to kickoff through results elsewhere, and the Kickers took the lead in the 18th minute as a poor clearance fell to Jason Yeisley for the finish. Orange County fought back, though, and Hoxie flicked home an excellent header from Seung Ju Kim’s cross from the right to level the score. Both sides had chances in the second half, but the Blues were able to hold on for a point to keep the Kickers in third place in the USL PRO standings.

 

WILMINGTON 0, SACRAMENTO 0: Wilmington Hammerheads FC and Sacramento Republic FC each claimed a point as they finished scoreless at Legion Stadium.

 

Sunny Jane had an early chance for the Hammerheads, only to be denied by Jake Gleeson. Sacramento had first-half chances from James Kiffe and Chad Bartlome go wide, but the best chance of the game arrived in the second half as Wilmington’s Corben Bone broke in on goal, only for Gleeson to close down the angle well and block his one-on-one opportunity as the game finished level.

 

SUNDAY

 

ORLANDO 7, DAYTON 0: Orlando City SC moved within a point of claiming the regular season title as Kevin Molino had a hat trick to lead the Lions past Dayton Dutch Lions FC at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

 

Molino, who extended his USL PRO regular-season record to 19 goals, opened the scoring in the sixth minute as he put home a finish into the right corner off a flick by Guiseppe Gentile. The former Chicago Fire man added a second in the 38th minute, and then picked up a second assist as Molino made it 3-0 before the halftime break.

 

Austin da Luz made it 4-0 three minutes into the second half before Molino completed his hat trick in the 57th minute after he turned his man and shot low into the right corner. Molino then added an assist four minutes later as he set up Adama Mbengue for the Lions’ sixth, and da Luz notched his second with just more than 20 minutes to go to finish off the biggest win in USL PRO this season.

 

STANDINGS

TeamGPWLTGFGAPts
p-Orlando City261844552458
p-Sacramento Republic FC261664472652
p-Richmond Kickers2613211522650
p-LA Galaxy II261475513647
p-Charleston Battery271098343038
Rochester Rhinos279108272535
Harrisburgh City Islanders269107404234
Wilmington Hammerheads258710313134
Pittsburgh Riverhounds279135344732
Charlotte Eagles269143303530
x-Arizona United SC (-2)279135304730
OKC Energy FC268135313629
x-Orange County Blues FC279171315328
x-Dayton Dutch Lions FC276174285922

 

p- Clinched Playoff Berth

x- Eliminated from playoff contention

 

RESULTS

Monday, August 25

Seattle Reserves 5, Arizona 1

 

Wednesday, August 27

LA Galaxy II 1, Real Salt Lake Reserves 1

Sacramento 3, Charleston 1

 

Thursday, August 28

Wilmington 3, Orlando 1

 

Friday, August 29

Pittsburgh 1, Charlotte 0

 

Saturday, August 30

Rochester 4, Harrisburg 1

Charleston 4, Pittsburgh 0

Wilmington 0, Sacramento 0

Orange County 1, Richmond 1

 

Sunday, August 31

Orlando 7, Dayton 0

 

SCHEDULE

Monday, September 1

Montreal Reserves vs. Charlotte, 1 p.m. ET

LA Galaxy II vs. Richmond, 10:30 p.m. ET

 

Wednesday, September 3

Wilmington vs. Orlando, 7:30 p.m. ET

 

Thursday, September 4

Sacramento vs. Oklahoma City, 10:30 p.m. ET

 

Friday, September 5

Dayton vs. Wilmington, 7 p.m. ET

Charleston vs. Harrisburg, 7:30 p.m. ET

 

Saturday, September 6

Charlotte vs. Harrisburg, 7 p.m. ET

Pittsburgh vs. Arizona, 7 p.m. ET

Orlando vs. Richmond, 7:30 p.m. ET

Orange County vs. Oklahoma City, 10 p.m. ET

Sacramento vs. LA Galaxy II, 11 p.m. ET

 

Sunday, September 7

Rochester vs. Wilmington, 4:05 p.m. ET

 

USL PRO

USL PRO is the strongest U.S. men’s professional soccer league on and off the field below and in support of Major League Soccer (MLS). Focused on league stability and franchise performance longevity, USL PRO features 14 teams, including expansion teams in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Sacramento. Teams have already been announced for 2015 in Austin, Colorado Springs, Louisville, Saint Louis and Tulsa, with more additions expected soon. Through aggressive and deliberate growth in adding teams fully capable of meeting USL and US Soccer standards, USL PRO is building a robust, national professional soccer league in a format that promotes the benefits of regional league play. In 2013 USL PRO began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that features individual team affiliations, inter-league play, and the opportunity for MLS clubs to field a second team in USL PRO. In addition to league play, USL PRO teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various domestic and international exhibitions. USL PRO is the longest-standing pro league affiliate member of US Soccer.

Posted in: Charleston SC, Events
Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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