Carolina RailHawks forward Brian Shriver’s free kick curled over the Edmonton wall and the ball’s 20-yard journey ended in the back of the net. Shriver’s deft strike would prove to be the eventual game winner, sending the RailHawks to a 2-1 victory and to the top of the NASL standings. Austin da Luz and Shriver struck first for the RailHawks in the 52nd and 71st minute, respectively, before Edmonton forward Massimo Mirabelli scored in stoppage time.
“The first goal is always very important. We got the first one, settled down and gained some confidence,” said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke. “We played some good football, passed the ball well, and its nice to get the first win tonight. If we are going to be successful we need our fans to be happy. It’s much easier for the players to play with the crowd behind us. We’re grateful for them coming out tonight and look forward to seeing them next week.”
The Grand Opening opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony including local town and county officials, WakeMed officials, and RailHawks management. The excitement came from the fast start with both teams contributing to 10 shots in the first 30 minutes of play. The RailHawks would jump on top when Tiyi Shipalane’s lofted-cross found an elevating da Luz at the back post to nod in the opening goal. The RailHawks would go up two in the 71st when da Luz was fouled at the top of the Edmonton box. With Shriver and da Luz lining up over the ball, it would be Shriver that would score the game winner.
Edmonton continued to push and proved they were dangerous on the attack outshooting the RailHawks 14 to 8. The Eddies would eventually pull one back in the 91st minute when Mirabelli would get on the end of a blocked shot and calmly place the ball in the back of the net. Tested throughout the match, both goalkeepers, Edmonton’s Lance Parker and Carolina’s Akira Fitzgerald, finished with 2 saves.
The RailHawks return to WakMed Soccer Park on Saturday, April 20th when they face the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at 7:00pm. Latin Fest will start the matchday festivities at 5:00pm with live music, beer and margarita samplings, and a youth soccer clinic. Tickets for the match and for Latin Fest are available for purchase at the St. Lawrence Homes Box Office by calling 919-459-8144 or e-mailing tickets@CarolinaRailHawks.com. Tickets can also be purchased online through Etix.
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|Tampa Bay Rowdies||20||14||5||5||4||3|
|Minnesota United FC||20||14||6||2||6||2|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||18||14||5||3||6||-2|
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|Tampa Bay Rowdies||18||12||5||3||4||5|
|Minnesota United FC||14||12||4||2||6||-5|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||8||12||2||2||8||-14|