Hammerheads earn first victory

Hammerheads earn first victory

USL Game Report

Sunday, April 12, 2015

HARRISON, N.J. - Wilmington Hammerheads FC took its first victory of the 2015 USL season, and handed New York Red Bulls II its first defeat, with a 3-0 win at Red Bull Arena on Sunday afternoon. Wilmington forward Nick Zimmerman struck twice for the visitors, while Andres Mendoza buried his penalty kick to tally the third and final goal late on.

Red Bulls II goalkeeper Santiago Castano was active early and often in a first half dominated by Wilmington. In the 11th minute, Castano tipped an early chance from Tommy McNamara over the bar. Shortly afterwards a Sunny Jane strike destined for the lower left-hand corner was also denied from a diving effort from Castano.

NYRB II would have its chance to break the deadlock in the 19th minute when Chris Tsonis picked the pocket of a Wilmington defender and charged forward alone, but goalkeeper Andre Rawls stepped up to make the save. Rawls finished the match with an impressive 10 saves.

The Hammerheads broke the deadlock just moments later in the 22nd minute when Zimmerman scored the first goal of the match. Wilmington forced a turnover and charged forward on an odd-man rush. Corben Bone passed off to Zimmerman, who was charging down the right side. He powered a low shot through the legs of Castano, putting New York down for the first time in club history.

Zimmerman again punished Red Bulls II in the 43rd minute when a low cross deflected off the sliding Mike da Fonte and directly to the feet of Zimmerman, who tapped home from close distance.

Red Bulls II emerged from the locker room clearly set on halving its deficit. First-half substitute Franklin Castellanos wowed the crowd with a spin-move just outside the 18-yard box, but flashed his effort wide right. Tsonis had another chance at goal with only the goalkeeper to beat, but his blast was tipped by Rawls, careened off the crossbar and fell to Castellanos, whose shot was blocked by a defender, and although NYRB II shouted for a handball, no call was made.

"When you don't finish and make a few mistakes and things don't go your way you're going to get punished," head coach John Wolyniec said. "When the game's that open, good teams will punish you and we weren't able to punish back."

Derrick Etienne, in first career start, connected on a volley that looked destined for goal, but Rawls stepped up and made a stunning save. The Hammerheads closed out the game in the 86th minute when a breakaway forced Castano to take out the Wilmington attacker. Castano received a red card, and although replacement goalkeeper Rafael Diaz guessed correctly on the direction of Mendoza's attempt, he couldn't make the save on a well taken shot as the Hammerheads wrapped up all three points.