Wilmington Hammerheads play Saturday in final tuneup against UNCW

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Two of the city’s finest clubs will be on display Saturday afternoon as Wilmington Hammerheads FC faces the UNCW men’s soccer team at Legion Stadium. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. Admission to the game is free.

The friendly will serve as one final tuneup for Wilmington Hammerheads FC before opening their 20th anniversary regular season, which will showcase 15 home and 15 road games that will be played from March 26 – September 23.

Wilmington opens the season at home on April 1. Photo courtesy- Wilmington Hammerheads FC
Wilmington opens the season at home on April 1. Photo courtesy- Wilmington Hammerheads FC

The home opener for the Hammerheads will be at 7 p.m. Friday, April 1, when the team squares off against the Richmond Kickers in a rematch of last season’s opener.

First-year Coach Mark Briggs and the organization have been working hard this offseason to get the pieces in place for a turnaround year after struggling in 2015. The club played to a 1-1 draw against Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina on March 16.

UNCW head men’s soccer coach Aidan Heaney released the Seahawks’ five-game spring season schedule earlier this week, which includes a pair of contests at the UNCW Soccer Stadium and a matchup against the hometown Wilmington Hammerheads.

Following their match against the Hammerheads,  UNCW plays host to Wingate at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30 at UNCW Soccer Stadium.

On Saturday, Apr. 9, the Seahawks take part in the Manchester Cup at the Manchester Meadows Spring Complex in Rock Hill, S.C. They will face South Carolina at 1:15 p.m. before a 4:30 p.m. contest against Furman.

UNCW completes its spring slate on Saturday, Apr. 16 by hosting Duke at 6 p.m. for the annual “Harry’s Game.”

The event his named after Heaney’s son, Harry, who was born with Down syndrome. The idea is to use the vehicle of soccer to bring attention not only to Down syndrome, but to other kids with special needs.

All proceeds from “Harry’s Game” benefit the Wilmington Hammerheads Youth TOPS Soccer Program for kids with special needs and Special Olympics of New Hanover County. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 15 and younger. A group rate of $3 each for 10 or more is also available.