It's been more than a month since the Charleston Battery won a match.
So when the final whistle blew in the Battery's 2-0 win over Arizona United SC Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium, head coach Mike Anhaeuser couldn't help but celebrate a little bit.
Charleston's last victory came back on June 14 when the Battery defeated LA Galaxy II, 3-0, at home. Since then the Battery has gone 0-3-2 overall, including a 0-0-2 mark at home, and has been outscored, 11-3 during that stretch.
"We needed that," Anhaeuser said. "It's great to get a win. We really had them on the ropes all game, they only had a couple of chances. It's a big relief. I know the players were talking about getting on a win streak and really moving up the table, so, I'm very proud of the guys."
The Battery (5-8-6, 21 points) still has plenty of work ahead as they trail Orange County FC and Charlotte Eagles by three points for the final playoff spot in the USL Pro standings heading back on the road for Monday's game against Montreal.
The Battery are just 2-7-1 away from the Lowcountry this season.
"We've been playing pretty well at home, what we have to clean up is our road games," Anhaeuser said.
"We got our win here, and we want to win all of our home games from here on out and start making a push for the playoffs and hopefully get a seventh or sixth seed. On the road, we need to change two or three little things and we'll be good to go on Monday against Montreal."
Besides the final outcome, the biggest relief might have been the play of striker Dane Kelly. Kelly scored both of the Battery's goals and nearly equaled his entire production for the season. The Battery outshot Arizona, 14-6, as Kelly led the team with six shots on frame.
"We had a great first half, we moved the ball and Dane was really active," Anhaeuser said. "When Dane's playing well it makes a big difference for us. When you get your striker scoring, it makes everything easier for everyone else on the field."
Kelly, who has six goals on the season, had not scored against a USL Pro opponent since the Battery's victory over the LA Galaxy II.
"I hadn't scored in a long, long time, so it was a relief," Kelly said. "It felt great to finally score, but I probably should have had a couple more tonight."
The addition of midfielder Jose Cuevas has paid immediate dividends for the Battery's attack. He had a goal in the Battery's 1-1 draw against Richmond on Tuesday and created several scoring chances for Kelly throughout the match.
"Jose is the kind of player that can make a huge difference for teams that sit back and defend like Arizona did tonight," Anhaeuser said. "He can get into space and play that ball up top to Dane."
Odisnel Cooper made two saves to record his sixth shutout of the season.
"I thought we defended pretty well all night and kept our shape," Anhaeuser said.
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