USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Saturday, February 27, 2016
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery and Saint Louis FC played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon at MUSC Health Stadium, as both continued their preseason preparations for the new USL season.
The game was split into three 30-minute periods, and the Battery took the lead late in the second period as Justin Portillo found the back of the net. After a good piece of hold-up play by former New York Red Bulls II forward Chris Tsonis, the ball came to Austin Savage, whose pass was intercepted by the Saint Louis defense. The ball deflected to Dante Marini, however, who ran at the defense, and then found Portillo for the finish.
Tsonis had a chance to double the Battery’s lead a minute later as he latched onto a long pass forward by Zach Prince, only to pull his shot wide of the post.
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Saint Louis leveled the score 10 minutes into the third period when it was awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area. Jamiel Hardware’s delivery into the near post was met by Jermie Lynch, whose redirection took the ball past Battery goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper.
Saint Louis had a late chance to find a winner in stoppage time with a free kick from 25 yards that went wide of the target, as the game wrapped up with honors even.
“I’m happy with the performance, disappointed that we let another one in on a free kick, but it’s something we can work on,” said Battery Coach Mike Anhaeuser.
For Saint Louis, which had played to a 2-2 draw with Coastal Carolina earlier in the day in another scrimmage, the day’s work allowed Coach Dale Schilly the chance to get some of the club’s academy players some experience at a higher level of competition.“We played our Academy kids this morning and gave them their first experiences with the pro guys,” Shilly said. “And then we just kinda managed the minutes. We tried to keep guys under 90 minutes for the day and it took some manipulation of the roster to do that.”