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Hammerheads win road opener; UNCW soccer shuts out NC State

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PITTSBURGH (USL) -- The Wilmington Hammerheads got a pair of goals from Sammy Ochoa as they claimed a 4-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday night at Highmark Stadium. The Riverhounds saw a sellout, standing-room-only crowd in attendance for their home opener, but the Hammerheads would never trail on their way to their first win of the season.

After a back-and-forth start to the game, Wilmington broke the deadlock in the 26th minute as Steven Miller took advantage of a lot of space from 21 yards, and sent a strike past Riverhounds goalkeeper Greg Blum.

The Riverhounds had a couple of nice chances in the first half, the first coming from the right side as Matt Dallman sent a ball right to Jose Angulo in the 15th minute that was broken up by a couple of Hammerheads defenders. The ball deflected out to Collins John, who sent a first-time shot that was punched out by Hammerheads goalkeeper Quillan Roberts.

The Riverhounds drew a number of fouls near their attacking third in the first half. Each time, Dallman couldn't convert. His best chance came in the 30th minute, from just out side the box from the left side he grazed the top of the crossbar. Then in the 35th minute, Joseph Odobai sent a nice ball over the top to Angulo, who's header was cleared away nicely by Roberts.

The Hammerheads would double their lead in the 39th minute when Riverhounds defender Andrew Marshall was called for a handball just outside of the box, setting up Daniel Lovitz, for a free kick from 22 yards. Lovitz made the most of his chance, with a bending shot that found the upper right corner of the goal, to give the Hammerheads a commanding 2-0 lead going into the half.

The Riverhounds looked to the familiar combination of Jose Angulo and Matt Dallman cut the lead in half in the 55th minute and send the match into a wild, back and forth affair. Angulo converted on Dallman's corner kick with a header for his second goal of the season, cutting the Hammerheads' lead to 2-1.

Wilmington responded almost immediately, as Ochoa scored on a header on a free kick from Miller in the 57th minute. The Riverhounds continued to mount pressure, and after a few more close chances, would cut the lead to 3-2, as Collins John knocked a loose ball past Roberts.

Again, with the crowd back into the match, Wilmington would strike again. After a foul just inside the left side of the penalty area, Ochoa calmly sent a penalty kick past Blum for the 4-2 lead.

The Riverhounds kept pressing, and would cut the deficit to one in the 85th minute, as late sub Kevin Kerr put in a first-time, left-footed shot from just on the edge of the penalty area that set up an exciting finish.

In the 90th minute, on another corner from Dallman, the ball sailed just past Angulo who was unmarked on the far post. A minute later, Danny Earls made a nice run up the left side, passed it off to Joseph Ngwenya, who put it past Roberts. As the Riverhounds and fans celebrated, it was quickly waved off by the officials for offside, and the Hammerheads would escape Pittsburgh with three points.

The Riverhounds will be back on the road next weekend as they return to Richmond for a 5 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, March 19th. The Hammerheads, meanwhile, will return home to host the Charlotte Eagles on Saturday, April 26 at Legion Stadium.

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WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) -- The UNCW men’s soccer team raised more money for Cape Fear Soccer’s TopSoccer program and tacked on a 2-0 victory over N.C. State as well in the second annual “Harry’s Game” Saturday night at the UNCW Soccer Stadium.

The game is designed to raise awareness for Down’s syndrome and featured fun activities for children, including a bounce castle, slide and face painting, as well as an appearance by popular mascot Sammy Seahawk. A special auction was also held to raise funds.

The TopSoccer program for kids with special needs benefitted from proceeds from the game, which was named after UNCW Head Coach Aidan Heaney’s son, Harry, who was born two years ago with Down’s syndrome. A large turnout of local soccer supporters watched the friendly between the Seahawks and Wolfpack

Junior striker Jamie Dell got the Seahawks on the board quickly in the fifth minute following an assist from David Sizemore. Jack Ward then delivered an insurance goal with less than six minutes remaining in the contest after collecting a nifty pass from Colin Bonner and drilling the ball into the net.

UNCW, which outshot N.C. State by a 15-9 margin, evened its record at 1-1 in “Harry’s Game” after dropping a 2-1 decision on April 6, 2013.

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