Back and forth they went — shots too wide, shots too high, shots deflected — until there was no more time left.
The Charleston Battery and Orlando City B played to a scoreless draw on Wednesday night on Daniel Island at MUSC Health Stadium, the Battery’s second tie in as many games. Because it was a league match, there was no overtime, meaning the Battery left the stadium with just one point for the evening.
“It’s been so difficult against Orlando. We create such good chances and we seemed to just miss that last chance (at a goal),” said Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser. “They cleared three or four off the line off of free kicks and the keeper made a couple great saves again. He’s done fantastic, so you have to commend their defense a little bit.”
Indeed the Orlando defense had an efficient outing, keeping the middle tightly clogged almost every time the Battery worked their way toward the goal.
The Battery took 22 total shots, seven of which came from forward Romario Williams, but could never get over the hump. Orlando took just eight shots to the Battery’s 22, and Orlando keeper Mark Ridgers had five saves for the night.
“I felt like they had, just every time we shot, an extra defender there to block it off the line,” said defender Shawn Ferguson, the Battery’s captain.
“We’ve faced them before, and always three times now, have had trouble scoring. It is frustrating that we just couldn’t finally get a result versus Orlando.”
Now the Battery will turn their efforts toward a Saturday matchup with the Nigerian Olympic team in an international exhibition match in Atlanta.
Anhaeuser said he plans to get every player into the game at some point for the sake of the experience, but intends to substantially lighten the load of some of his regulars who have shown signs of fatigue at this point in the season.
“It’s going to be for the guys to get to play a team that’s going to be playing in the Olympics,” he said.
“They want to play against them, because they’ll be seeing them on TV in what, about four weeks? So it’s exciting.”
Forward Andrew Carleton was signed to an amateur contract earlier in the week, the Battery announced Wednesday. Carleton, a 16-year-old Atlanta United homegrown player, has spent time with the U.S. youth national team and has trained at IMG academy in Bradenton, Fla., prior to his Charleston arrival.
Atlanta United signed Carleton as the club’s first-ever homegrown player in June, meaning he can be eligible to join the Atlanta team in 2017 as long as he completes the necessary requirements. He is currently training for the FIFA U-17 World Cup qualifiers.