Hammerheads in search of result; UNCW standout making most of rookie season in USL

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Wilmington Hammerheads FC is looking to build momentum heading into Saturday’s home match against New York Red Bull II.

With a 1-6-4 mark in the USL Pro League and seven points in the eastern conference standings, Wilmington played to a 1-1 draw at Legion Stadium last week, but still remain seven points out of playoff contention as the playoff picture begins to take shape approaching the midway point of the season.

Jacob VanCompernolle. Photo courtesy- USL Soccer
Jacob VanCompernolle. Photo courtesy USL Soccer.

The top six teams in each conference qualify for postseason play, while Wilmington will face a New York club that has yet to pick up a result away from their home pitch. The Hammerheads defeated Red Bull II 3-0 earlier this year for their only win of the year.

Wilmington has a 9-19 goal differential in 11 matches, with a 0-2-4 record at Legion Stadium. Kickoff between the Hammerheads and Red Bull II is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 13.

While the struggles continue for Wilmington, former UNCW standout Jacob VanCompernolle is making the most out of his rookie season for OKC Energy FC. With a strong run of late to move into first place atop the USL’s Western Conference, one of the keys to the side’s three-game winning streak has been its defense, which has conceded only one goal in its past four games.

VanCompernolle has been pivotal to that success. He’s started all 11 games this season and has yet to be shown a yellow card.

The Dallas, Texas, native earned First-team All-CAA as well as conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2014, and helped the Seahawks to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. With 21 points on the season, Energy FC holds a one-point edge over second place Seattle in the west.