CARY, N.C. (June 9, 2012) - The Carolina RailHawks (2-5-4, 11 pts.) responded to the heart-breaking loss against MLS’s Chivas USA by stomping the league co-leaders, Minnesota Stars FC, on Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park 5-1. It was the Stars’ first loss of the season, and the RailHawks second consecutive win over a leader in the NASL after last Saturday’s win over the Puerto Rico Islanders. Defender Austen King, Nick Zimmerman, Brian Shriver, Zack Schilawski, and Jason Garey scored the goals for the RailHawks.
“I am very proud of the team. We had a great game offensively and were able to get the job done defensively,” said Head Coach Colin Clarke. “Minnesota is a tough team, and today we were able to earn the three points. The team is on the right track and we still have half the season in front of us.”
The RailHawks surprised the Stars (4-5-1, 17 pts.) with the first goal of the game in the 24th minute when Austin Da Luz crossed a ball to find King who headed it across the goal to beat the Stars keeper and score his first career goal. It was Da Luz’s first assist in NASL play. The RailHawks went up 2-0 when Zimmerman’s effort on goal from 20 yards out took a deflection and left the keeper out of position. Minnesota cut the lead in added time when Simone Bracalello collected a ball in the box and placed it past Ray Burse.
In the second half, the RailHawks continued to capitalize on their chances. In the 53rd minute, Schilawski’s shot hits the post and Shriver collected the rebound and scored his fifth goal of the season to put the RailHawks up 3-1. Just 8 minutes later Schilawski received a perfect through ball from Breiner Ortiz to score his first goal in NASL play to put the RailHawks 4-1. There was time for one more goal in the second half. Ty Shipalane took a free kick and found Garey in the far post that headed the ball for the RailHawks fifth goal of the match.
“I think some of tonight’s result was the product of nearly a month on the road,” Minnesota Assistant Coach Carl Craig said. “At some point you have to crack, and we cracked tonight against a very good team on the road.”
Minnesota played without forward Amani Walker who is suffering from an Achilles tendon injury he sustained during the Open Cup match against Real Salt Lake in late May. Stars Head Coach Manny Lagos was also absent serving a suspension for a red card he received in last week’s match against the San Antonio Scorpions.