The Carolina RailHawks (2W-1T-0L, 7pts) earned a 3-1 victory over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (0W-1T-2L, 1pt) on Saturday night led by two goals from RailHawks forward and UNC alumni Brian Shriver. The victory sends the RailHawks to the top of the North American Soccer League standings. Fort Lauderdale Strikers midfielder Jamel Johnson opened the scoring in the 11thminute before two converted penalty kicks from Shriver and RailHawks captain Floyd Franks in the 27thand 25thminutes, respectively, would give the RailHawks the lead at the end of the first half. Shriver tallied his second of the night in the 58thminute.
“Tonight was fun to watch and I know for the players it was fun to play,” said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke. “Fort Lauderdale is a good team and both teams showed quality soccer tonight. I think the fans left very pleased and we are pleased to get the three points.”
For the third consecutive match at least 8 of the RailHawks starters had ties to the state of North Carolina. Goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, defenders Austen King, Jordan Graye, and Eddie Ababio, midfielders Austin da Luz, Nick Millington, Franks, and forwards Brian Ackley, Zack Schilawski, and Shriver all played their youth or college soccer in the state of North Carolina.
Both teams quickly jumped on the offensive with each registering a shot in the first few minutes of play. When it looked like the RailHawks were getting more of the chances, Johnson struck for the Strikers with a low curling left-footed shot into the side netting of the RailHawks goal. The RailHawks attack was rewarded twice in an 8 minute span with two penalty kicks from a hand ball and foul in the box. Both Franks and Shriver calmly placed the kicks into the left corner beating Fort Lauderdale goalkeeper Matt Glaeser. In the 58thminute, Shriver was again in front of the Fort Lauderdale net when a Tiyi Shipalane cross found an open Shriver in the six yard box. Shriver’s volley was initially saved by Glaeser, but after a poor clearance, Shriver would leave little doubt with a powerful finish for his second goal of the night.
The RailHawks have a bye week next weekend before traveling to Minnesota on May 4th. On May 11ththe RailHawks return to WakeMed Soccer Park to host the San Antonio Scorpions at 7:00pm. To purchase tickets for the match visit www.CarolinaRailHawks.comor call the St. Lawrence Homes Box Office at 919-459-8144.
CAR: GK Fitzgerald, D Graye, D King, D Hamilton, D Low, M da Luz (Ababio,89), M Millington, M Franks, M Shipalane, F Shriver, F Schilawski (Ackley, 72)
FTL: GK Glaeser, D Guerrero, D Stahl, D Thomas, M Anderson, M Johnson, M Pecka, M Salazar (Rubens, 32 (Heron, 72)), F Dimitrov, F Foley (Restrepo, 63), F King
CAR: Franks (PK), 27; Shriver (PK), 35; Shriver (Unassisted), 58
FTL: Johnson (Pecka), 11;
CAR: Franks, 7; Millington, 49;
FTL: Foley, 26; Johnson, 65; Restrepo, 70;
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|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||14||5||3||6||-2||18|
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|Tampa Bay Rowdies||12||5||3||4||5||18|
|Minnesota United FC||12||4||2||6||-5||14|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|