For once, the score really wasn’t indicative of what happened on the field. For the record, the Charleston Battery trounced the Antigua Barracuda FC, 4-0, Saturday in the club’s home opener.
But it could have been much worse.
Ben Fisk and former College of Charleston star Zach Prince each had a goal and an assist in the victory before an announced crowd of 4,546 at Blackbaud Stadium.
Charleston (1-1) finished the game with 27 shots on goal, the most anyone can remember for the Battery in recent history. Charleston also probably had just as many quality scoring chances against the outmanned Barracuda, who lost 2-0 Friday night to Wilmington.
It was a mismatch from the opening kickoff, but went a long way in soothing the damaged psyche of the Battery after last week’s 4-1 season-opening loss to Richmond.
“It’s a great start to our home schedule,” said Charleston Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser. “We got the three points and we scored four goals and got a clean sheet and that’s really the most important thing. We could have had a few more goals.”
That might have been an understatement.
The Battery were whistled for 10 offside violations during the match. Four times the Battery appeared to score only to have the goals disallowed because of offside calls.
“It was a frustrating night and you don’t say that very often after you score four goals,” said Battery midfielder Nicki Paterson. “We probably should have scored 10 goals. I should have had three or four. But we got the three points.”
The Barracuda (0-3) didn’t manage much of an attack, recording just five total shots and one scoring chance. Odisnel Cooper, a former Cuban national team keeper, barely broke a sweat and got his first shutout with the Battery, making three saves.
“I thought we kept our shape most of the match,” Anhaeuser said. “They never really pushed the ball forward. You could tell they were tired from (Friday’s) match with Wilmington.”
After several quality scoring chances in the opening 15 minutes of the match, the Battery broke through on Heviel Cordoves’ goal in the 21st minute. Fisk got the ball on the left side as the Barracuda defensive wall stepped up to draw the Battery offside. However, Cordoves timed his run perfectly as Fisk lofted the ball over the wall, and the former Cuban national team player was all alone on Antigua keeper Corey Whisenhunt. Cordoves easily beat Whisenhunt for the goal.
Less than two minutes later, Fisk came down the left flank, stepped past a Barracuda defender just outside the 18-yard box, cut to the middle and slammed home his chance to give the Battery a 2-0 advantage.
Charleston pushed its lead to 3-0 on Dane Kelly’s goal in the 78th minute. Prince sent a searching ball into the penalty area on a corner kick and Kelly volleyed it past Whisenhunt for the score.
Prince ripped a shot past Whisenhunt from about 30 yards out in the 85th minute to give the Battery a 4-0 lead.