::Carolina Railhawks To Host First Game
From Raleigh Chronicle Staff Reports
Thursday, April 19, 2007
CARY - The pre-season is over and soccer fans don't have to wait any longer to watch professional soccer from the Carolina Railhawks as they begin their inaugural season this Saturday night.
The Railhawks will start their regular season against the Minnesota Thunder on Saturday April 21st at 7:30pm at the SAS Soccer Park on Chatham Street in Cary, just past the Raleigh city limits from Western Boulevard. Tickets range from $10 to $20 depending upon the seat location.
The United Soccer League includes several teams throughout the country and Cary is one of the new expansion teams this year.
Railhawks Lose Last Exhibition Match
The Carolina Railhawks lost their final exhibition match on Friday April 13th against the Duke University men's soccer team. Below appears an account of the match, as provided by the Railhawks:
The Carolina RailHawks played their fifth and final exhibition match against Duke University's Blue Devils at Koskinen Stadium in Durham in front of 250 fans.
Railhawks Head Coach Scott Schweitzer had the chance to tweak his lineup in preparation for the inaugural game on Saturday April 21st against the Minnesota Thunder. The final score was 1-0 in favor of Duke's Blue Devils.
Coach Schweitzer tried a slightly different starting lineup inserting Defender Philip Kutsu to join Frankie Sanfilippo, Caleb Norkus and David Stokes in the back, and Liberian Forward McColm Cephas up top with Connally Edozien and Stuart Brightwell right behind him. Midfielders Carrieri, Low and Steele consolidated the 4-3-2-1 formation.
The teams spent the first ten minutes sizing each other up before starting to create scoring opportunities. It was a strong pass from Kupono Low that gave Chris Carrieri his first shot in the 15th minute of play but it was deflected right away to the back earning the RailHawks the first of three consecutive corner kicks that ended in the ball missing the net by inches all three times.
Duke starts getting dangerous in the middle of the half and forces some serious work by the Carolina RailHawks' back line. In the 24th minute a sliding two footed tackle by Philip Kutsu earns him a red card which sends him off the field leaving the RailHawks one man down.
Coach Schweitzer made some minor tactical adjustments moving Kupono Low further back to cover the hole left in the defense but the RailHawks don't lose focus and continue attacking the Blue Devils with a lot of heart. In the 39th minute a cross from Jonny Steele to Frankie Sanfilippo results in the ball getting drilled right into Duke's Goalkeeper's arms. The first half ends with a final attempt by Connally Edozien in the 43rd minute that goes just a few inches to the left of the post.
The second half of the match starts with no changes in the lineups and another cross from Jonny Steele to Frankie Sanfilippo who headed the ball towards the goal but was denied once again by Duke Goalkeeper Brendan Fitzgerald. Duke's offense keeps RailHawks Goalkeeper Chris McClellan busy with a couple of shots in the 54th and 55th but he covers them with ease.
In the 64th minute Connally Edozien receives a second yellow card and gets sent off which leaves the RailHawks with nine men left. The match's only tally comes in the 69th minute after a break through the midfield allows Forward Mike Grella up the right side to shoot one in the bottom left corner of the net with no possibility of a save. A third red card is issued just two minutes later when midfielder Michael Videira receives a second caution for protesting.
The Carolina RailHawks continue to search for a tally with shot by Carrieri in the 73rd minute that gets deflected and a beautifully lobbed ball by Steele which ends right behind the net in the 86th minute. A final attempt by Defender David Stokes on a pass by Sola Abolaji in the 90th minute ends a few inches past the left post and also ends the game. ::