Wilmington Hammerheads News Release - www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com
Friday, July 17, 2009
WILMINGTON, NC -- The Wilmington Hammerheads squared up against the Monarchs from Maryland on Friday night and came away with a 3-1 victory, moving into a three-way tie for first in the USL Second Division.
With Real Maryland sitting only one point behind in division play, a victory for the Hammerheads was vital.
On a wonderful cross by Kenny Bundy in the fifth minute, standout Jamie Watson slammed the ball with the side of his head giving Wilmington an early 1-0 lead.
As the defense remained consistent, the Hammerheads continued to test the Monarchs with several different looks.
On a slight breakaway in the 30th minute, Phil Hufsteder found Watson once again for a strike to the right of the net. The Hammerheads put the margin to two goals.
“The early goals were huge for us,” said Watson. “If we win we go to first, if we lose we go to fourth, it’s pretty simple.”
Wilmington continued to dominate possession until the 33rd minute after Maryland received a penalty kick. Goalkeeper Daryl Sattler couldn’t quite grab the shot, putting the Monarchs on the board.
The goal only made the Hammerheads hungrier, and in the 41st minute Phil Hufsteder drilled a shot past a few defenders and over the shoulder of the opposing goalkeeper’s shoulder. Hufsteder demonstrated his gymnastic abilities as he performed a routine that some would call the “celebration of the year.”
“I have always done that since I was a kid,” said Hufsteder. “I was just having some fun.”
The goal before half gave Wilmington a healthy 3-1 lead, leaving Maryland stunned. As the first half expired, the injury plagued Daryl Sattler had to leave the field, giving Kyle Polak another chance in net.
As the sun set behind the trees, and the stadium lights glistened off of the new Carolina Blue home jerseys, Wilmington took the second half with a desire to seal the deal.
Both teams showed intensity and the shots on goal were pretty much equally distributed. Defender Tweety Walters made it known that nothing would cross his path. Using his head, feet, arms, chest and every other extremity possible, Walters secured the goal and made the job that much easier for Polak.
“It is just natural instinct, said Walters. “I have always played that way.”
As the storms moved in, the score remained the same. Jamie Watson had a chance for a hat trick in the 82nd minute on a penalty kick, but struck it wide left. The game remained at a stand still and the Hammerheads were able to secure the victory as the whistle blew in the 90th minute.
Wilmington is now in a three- way tie for first place in the division. The Hammerheads will host the Kickers from Richmond in a huge match on Wednesday.