Saturday, May 19, 2012
WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Wilmington Hammerheads and Charlotte Eagles fought a tough battle on Saturday night at Legion Stadium, with Hagop Chirishian scoring his first goal for the Hammerheads to earn 1-1 draw against their in-state rivals and remain undefeated at home this season.
The Hammerheads had the chance to take the lead in a tight first half as they were awarded a penalty, but Andriy Budnyy's shot was well saved by Charlotte goalkeeper Eric Reed, keeping the game scoreless at the halftime break. The just 12 minutes into the second half, Charlotte forward Darryl Roberts found the ball nicely placed at the top of the box and blasted a shot past Hammerheads goalkeeper Alex Horwath to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Charlotte's goal, however, caused Wilmington to pick up the intensity and soon press for an equalizer.
The Hammerheads finished with six shots in the second half, and with the entrance of the energetic Akron standout Luke Holmes for his first appearance for the club Wilmingtin was able to tie the game in the 76th minute. Coming off a corner kick, Mark Briggs fired a low cross from outside the penalty area toward the left side of the goal. The ball bounced off a Charlotte defender and landed at the feet of Chirishian, who wasted no time in placing the ball in the back of the net to tie the game.
Chirishian’s first goal of the season was followed by other opportunities for the Hammerheads, including a header by Holmes in the 89th minute that found the back of the net but was ruled out for offside that proved to be the last big opportunity for either side as the Eagles took a point back to Charlotte, breaking a two-game losing streak.
The Hammerheads will be back in action on Tuesday night at 7 p.m at Legion Stadium in the U.S. Open Cup as they face Cal FC in the second round of the tournament. Should the Hammerheads take victory, they would host Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers in the third round on Tuesday, May 29. For more information, visit www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com.