WILMINGTON,NC (Hammerheads news release) — Following their quarterfinal victory over the Richmond Kickers on Saturday, the Wilmington Hammerheads will go on the road south to compete with Orlando City for a spot in the USL PRO Playoffs final. The USL PRO Playoffs semifinal match between the Wilmington Hammerheads and the Orlando City Lions is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 31 at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
Orlando City finished at the peak of the USL PRO rankings for the 2012 regular season, therefore claiming the No. 1 seed position and earning a bye in the quarterfinal round of playoffs. The six top-ranked teams in the league made it to playoffs post-season. After the regular season was all said and done, the Hammerheads clinched the No. 5 slot and were paired to play No. 4 seed Richmond in the quarterfinals at City Stadium. The Hammerheads advanced to the semifinals after defender Tom Parratt’s late goal in stoppage time from 40 yards out declared the 3-2 victory over the Kickers.
The Hammerheads were the only team to trump the USL PRO defending champions Orlando City during the regular season. The Hammerheads hold a 1-1-1 record versus the Lions this season and are looking to upset them for the second time for the opportunity to advance to the finals.
“Orlando is a tough place to go and play a semifinal match,” said Head Coach David Irving. “They’ve proved themselves to be the best team in the league during the season over a period of 24 games, but this is one game and anything can happen at this point in time.”
The No. 3 seed Charleston Battery will face the No. 2 seed Rochester Rhinos in the semifinals at Sahlen’s Stadium, also on Friday, August 31. The winners of both matches will face off in the finals on Saturday, September 8 with the highest seed having the home field advantage.
The semifinal match between the Wilmington Hammerheads and the Orlando City Lions will be streamed live via USL Live on UNATION at www.uslnation.com from the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, FL.
NOTE: Click play video to see WWAY’s game preview of Wilmington vs. Orlando City.
BUIES CREEK,NC (UNCW sports release) — Mateo Cardona scored his first goal of the season, coming in the second half, but UNCW was unable to overcome a two-goal deficit as Campbell topped the visiting Seahawks, 2-1, in men’s soccer action on Wednesday.
The Camels raised their record to 2-0-1 with the win in their season debut at the Eakes Athletics Complex. The Seahawks, who opened the season with a 2-all draw against UNC Greensboro at home, dropped to 0-1-1.
“We played with greater intensity and urgency in the second half,” said UNCW Head Coach Aidan Heaney. “We needed to come out stronger in the first half and were chasing the game after that first goal.”
After Campbell built a 2-0 lead in the second half, Cardona cut UNCW’s deficit in half with a long range goal in the 66th minute. Junior Michael Parrish set up Cardona, who lashed a shot from 25 yards out, and was credited with an assist.
The Camels opened the scoring on Aleski Tossavainen goal in the 21st minute. CU gained a corner on a missed clear. Mitchell Cardenas served a ball into the penalty area to an awaiting Tossavainen, who headed it past UNCW goalkeeper Brad Newman.
Newman, who was making his collegiate debut, finished with three saves on the game.
Justin Frantz capitalized in the 61st minute to push Campbell’s lead to 2-0. Frantz received a pass from Ben Iliames and rifled a shot with his left foot from the top of the penalty area.
The Camels peppered the UNCW goal with 16 shots on the evening, but managed just five on goal. Cardenas, CU’s leading returning scorer from 2011, managed seven shots on the night with two on target.
The Seahawks complete their brief two-match road swing this weekend with a 3 p.m. start at Appalachian State on Sept. 3.
High School Soccer Scoreboard from Wednesday
In Clayton Hoggard’s Carson Ratcliff scored in the 64th minute off a pk in the box for Hoggard to tie the game at 1. Gus Piepmeyer scored in the 79th minute for the winning goal, Carson Ratcliff got the assist. The Vikings are now 2-2-1 on the season.
GREENVILLE, NC (AP) – Three East Carolina receivers have been suspended for the Pirates’ opening game because they violated undisclosed team policy.
Coach Ruffin McNeill said Wednesday that senior Dayon Arrington, sophomore Danny Webster and redshirt freshman Antonio Cannon will miss the Appalachian State game.
McNeill says the team has rules in place and “we expect those to be followed, unconditionally.”
None of the receivers were listed on the depth chart released earlier this week.
Arrington has 13 catches for 124 yards in 23 career games. Webster had 43 catches for 418 yards with six starts in 2011, but missed the spring with an injured right knee.
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