Wilmington Hammerheads Press Release
Wilmington, NC – The Wilmington Hammerheads donned their away kits at Legion Stadium Friday night as they hosted the Rochester Rhinos for their third home match of the regular season. The Hammerheads began their doubleheader weekend sporting their Nike Volt jerseys as they fell to the Rhinos 1-0 by a goal from forward Matthew Horth in the 79th minute.
The return of Hammerheads veteran Paul Nicholson in the midfield after a two-game suspension, along with former defender Tom Parratt, paced the match for smooth transition throughout the pitch. Precise footwork was the key choice for both Wilmington and Rochester as possession was kept close. Brazilian forward Richard Isberner made his USL PRO debut with the Wilmington Hammerheads after officially being cleared for play earlier this week. He was joined up top by teammate Cody Arnoux who is recently coming off a hamstring injury he sustained weeks prior.
Arnoux made attempts early on into the match, but Rochester goalkeeper Kritian Nicht denied all chances on goal. Hammerheads defender Daniel Steres kept the momentum strong at the beginning of the match in the 13th minute with a shot that missed the goal to the right of the post. Rochester midfielder Lance Rozeboom followed soon after with a similar attempt on the Hammerheads end of the pitch.
Wilmington had an opportunity to take a one score lead in the 20th minute as Arnoux stepped to the line for a penalty kick after a hand ball was called in the eighteen on Rochester defender George Kyriazis. The shot soared hard over the crossbar, leaving the match to remain scoreless.
Another close opportunity was within reach for the Hammerheads when defender Gareth Evans took a header off a corner kick from Arnoux and striking the corner of the crossbar and the intersection of the left post, leaving the ball to bounce back into play.
Closing in on the 38th minute, Rochester's Michael Reidy made an attempt on Hammerheads goalkeeper Philip Tuttle that just slipped past Tuttle's grasp at the far post then rolling out of bounds.
Nicholson set the pace starting the second half as he regained possession with a one-on-one challenge versus Rozeboom passing to Isberner, which then lead to a shot attempt by Parratt. Nicht tallied impressive saves during the match, but none as notable as his goal line save off a shot by Steres that left his entire lower body lying in the goal. The lone goal of the match came in the 79th minute by Rochester's Matthew Horth from a rolling ground ball just outside of the eighteen into the far corner of the net on a slow reaction by Tuttle, putting the Rhinos up 1-0. The Hammerheads tried to come up with a goal to tie the match in the remaining time as the put up several attempts, but unfortunately they couldn't knock the ball into the net for a draw.
The Wilmington Hammerheads continue their doubleheader tomorrow night at Blackbaud Stadium as they face the Charleston Battery in a rematch of the USL PRO Championship. The two teams encountered during preseason with Charleston taking the win in the second half 2-0. Tomorrow's match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. as Charleston hosts Kick for the Cure.
For further information, please contact the Wilmington Hammerheads at (910) 777-2111 or visit www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com.
Box Score First Half Second Half Final
Wilmington 0 0 0
Rochester 0 1 1
ROC: Matthew Horth 79'
WILM: Parratt 90'
Hammerheads: GK Philip Tuttle, Michael Daly, Gareth Evans, Jamel Wallace, Uriah Bentick, Tom Parratt, Paul Nicholson, Daniel Steres, Bryce Taylor, Richard Isberner, Cody Arnoux
Rhinos: GK Kristian Nicht, Daniel Earls, Troy Roberts, George Kyriazis, Kevin Duckett, Tyler Rosenlund, Lance Rozeboom, Thomas McManus, Ross LaBauex, Michael Reidy, Matthew Horth
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