Photo courtesy of Charleston Battery
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Romario Williams and the Charleston Battery delivered an offensive performance that the Rochester Rhinos have rarely run into. Williams tallied a first-half hat trick and Charleston rolled to a 5-0 victory against Rochester on Saturday at MUSC Health Stadium. Williams scored the opening two goals in the run of play, followed with a finish off of an O’Brian Woodbine throw-in, and then assisted Ataulla Guerra’s 31st-minute score to go into the halftime break up four goals against the Rhinos. Maikel Chang capped off the scoring with an 81st-minute score. The last time the Rhinos conceded more than three goals was during their only loss of the 2015 championship campaign, a 4-2 defeat to the Charlotte Independence on Aug. 1, 2015. The last time Rochester conceded five goals in a game was during a 5-1 loss to the Harrisburg City Islanders during the 2013 campaign. Charleston moves to 3-0-1 (10 points) while Rochester drops to 1-3-1 (4 points).
15’ – CHS – Romario Williams (Quinton Griffith)
25’ – CHS – Romario Williams (Justin Portillo)
26’ – CHS – Romario Williams (O’Brian Woodbine)
31’ – CHS – Ataulla Guerra (Romario Williams)
81’ – CHS – Maikel Chang (Heviel Cordoves)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Romario Williams only needed 26 minutes to notch a hat trick as he and Charleston picked apart the Rhinos from the get-go. His opening goal, Williams fended off a couple defenders and placed into the lower left corner in the 15th minute. Williams followed that up with some beautiful pace to create his slotted shot into the right of the frame. Perhaps Rochester’s most deflating moment was a bit of a lapse as O’Brian Woodbine quickly threw the ball in to Woodbine who found a significant gap above the 18-yard box. He finished for a third tally in the 26th minute.
2. While Williams understandably stole the headlines, the return of Woodbine was a crucial element. Woodbine finished serving a suspension and made his first start of the season Saturday. Along with the assist on Williams’ third tally, his long throw-in capability was a welcome sight in just the opening minutes. In the fourth minute from the left sideline, Woodbine launched a throw-in and connected well with Forrest Lasso. He headed the ball wide left of the frame and easily could have put that on frame or finished as Lasso rose up without a Rhinos defender glued to him.
3. Rochester has always been defined by its defense. Twice now in three games, the Rhinos have conceded multiple goals during a 90-minute stretch. Rochester has now allowed seven goals in 270 minutes of play. To provide some context of just how much things have changed since the 2015 championship club, that year the Rhinos conceded only six goals through the first 19 matches of that season.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Romario Williams, Charleston Battery – Through just the first 45 minutes, Williams recorded a hat trick and set up Ataulla Guerra to pick apart a normally strong Rochester defense.
Charleston Battery at Tampa Bay Rowdies – April 22, 7:30 p.m. ET, Al Lang Stadium
Rochester Rhinos vs. New York Red Bulls II – April 22, 6:05 p.m. ET, Capelli Sport Stadium