It was never about revenge for Tony Donatelli. It wasn’t retribution or sticking it to his former team. The veteran Charleston Battery midfielder just wanted to win.
The last time Donatelli was in Sahlen Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., he was scoring two goals in a 4-0 win over the Rochester Rhinos. It was the most lopsided loss at the stadium in Rhinos’ franchise history.
It’s a loss the Rhinos are not likely to forget when they host the Battery today at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the USL Pro Division playoffs.
“Rochester has a great club and they take a lot of pride in winning at home in front of their fans,” said Donatelli, who played for the Rhinos a year ago.
“They don’t lose at home very often. They’ll have something to prove. I know they’ll come at us pretty hard.”
Donatelli has scored three of his four goals over the past three matches, including the game winner in the Battery’s 2-1 victory over Harrisburg City in the opening round of the playoffs.
Donatelli knows the Battery won’t be facing the same Rhinos team that lost by four goals. For one, the Rhinos should be at full strength. Rochester was without leading scorer Jimmy (J.C.) Banks, striker Thomas McManus and midfielder Tyler Rosenlund.
“We know it’s not going to be another 4-0 game,” Donatelli said. “They were missing a couple of key guys and they should be back in the lineup. That’s going to give them a boost and we’ve got to be ready for that.”
The task was made even more difficult for the Battery, who will be without striker Dane Kelly and midfielder Navion Boyd. Both returned to their teams in Jamaica last week.
“We’ll miss their pace,” Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser said. “But we’ve got guys that can step up and fill those spots.”
Charleston Battery's Tony Donatelli leads the attack against Rochester defenders in their match up Saturday, May 12, 2012 at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island. (Tyrone Walker/postandcourier.com)×
Wilmington managed to keep the Battery's Tony Donatelli's (upside down) off balance kick out of the goal at Blackbaud Stadium Friday night August 3, 2012. (Wade Spees/postandcourier.com)×