Battery's winning streak dies after loss to Puerto Rico Islanders

Image by Charleston BatteryImage by 20080713soccer.jpg Alavanja scored his third goal in an as many games on Saturday, but the Battery still lost to Puerto Rico.

The Charleston Battery (8-4-3, 27 points) fell to the second-ranked Puerto Riceo Islanders (7-5-3, 24 points) 1-3, ending a 7-game winning streak (not counting draws). But Charleston's team is still top-ranked in the USL First Division. The Battery lost despite taking a lead 1-0 in the 24th minute.

The team was no doubt a bit tired from having played four games this month. A writeup from the team:
"We've just got to regroup," Battery head coach Mike Anhaeuser said. "We've obviously had a lot of games, which have probably taken some energy out of us of late. Puerto Rico were pressing us as much as they could and didn't quit the whole game."

The fixture was the first clash this season between two of the USL's hottest teams. Coming into the match, the Islanders (6-5-3, 24 points, second place) had won four of their last five games, including two road games en-route to Charleston—form that's seen them climb from the basement and into the top three.

The Battery (8-4-3, 27 points), who had already ousted two MLS sides in the US Open Cup earlier this month, had before tonight lost just once since the beginning of May.

From the get-go it was evident both teams were seeking a big win, and the first half produced some open, attacking soccer.

The Battery pulled in 4,632 spectators, a 91 percent capacity crowd at Blackbaud stadium. Past game results are available on their Web site.

The Battery's next game is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (July 19) against the Portland Timbers (5-6-6, 21 points), a home game.

The night's loss does not affect the team's standing in the US Open Cup, which they advanced to the semifinals in on Wednesday.

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