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Late entrants jump right into playoffs
August 24th, 2012 1:09AM

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[USL PRO] The Richmond Kickers and Wilmington Hammerheads, who didn't qualify for the playoffs until the final weekend of the regular season, get right down to business when they meet Saturday at the Kickers' City Stadium. In the other quarterfinal, the Charleston Battery hosts the Harrisburg City Islanders, who left things until the last game of the season to advance.

RICHMOND-HARRISBURG. The Kickers fell in their final game of the regular season in Antigua, losing out on the chance to earn the No. 2 seed and a bye to the semifinals that instead went to the Rochester Rhinos. But they had been in good form prior to that, winning four consecutive games.

Richmond has been led by 21-year-old Chris Agorsor, who spent time in MLS with Philadelphia and Real Salt Lake in 2011. Two of the former University of Virginia forward's six goals came in stoppage time of the Kickers' 3-1 win over the Hammerheads in their meeting at City Stadium.
 
Wilmington needed a 2-1 win against Charlotte on the final day of the season to claim its berth in the playoffs.

The Hammerheads have also been led by young striker who left school early but struggled to find playing time in MLS. Corey Hertzog, on loan of the New York Red Bulls, had two goals and an assist in the Hammerheads’ two wins over the Kickers at Legion Stadium (1-0 and 2-1).

CHARLESTON-HARRISBURG. The No. 3 seed Battery has the second best attack in USL PRO behind regular-season champion Orlando City.

Charleston will be led by Nicki Paterson (second in USL PRO with 10 goals), Jose Cuevas (8 goals) and Dane Kelly (6 goals).

Goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, on loan from D.C. United, anchors the Battery defense.

Yann Ekra
’s goal and Nick Noble’s work in goal earned Harrisburg a 1-0 win on the road against Los Angeles that moved it past Charlotte and into the final playoff place.

Harrisburg and Charleston split the season series. The City Islanders won, 3-0, earlier this month at Skyline Sports Complex, while Charleston took a 3-1 win at Blackbaud Stadium on June 23.

Schedule:
Quarterfinals
Aug. 25
Richmond vs. Wilmington, 7 p.m. ET
Charleston vs. Harrisburg, 7:30 p.m. ET, USLNation
 
Semifinals
Aug. 31
Orlando City vs. lower remaining seed,  7:30 p.m. ET, USLNation
Rochester vs. higher remaining seed, 7:35 p.m. ET, USLNation



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