::Carolina RailHawks Earn First Win 2-0
By Marco Rosa, Carolina Railhawks Editor
Thursday May 10, 2007
CARY - The Carolina Railhawks professional soccer team played their first inter-league match on Tuesday night against the well-known Chivas USA team of Major League Soccer in front of a large crowd of 5,205 fans.
The RailHawks were finally able to earn a victory in this match touted as the Battle of the Leagues. Final score was 2-0 in favor of the Carolina RailHawks with goals scored by Phillip Long in the 29th minute and Anthony Maher in the 37th.
Carolina RailHawks Head Coach Scott Schweitzer decided to change the starting lineup by inserting Philip Long and Anthony Maher from the first minute instead of McColm Cephas and Stuart Brightwell, with Joey Worthen in place of injured Jonny Steele.
The teams spent the better part of the first half sizing each other up as rain started getting heavier and players started sliding around.
RailHawk Connally Edozien had the first shot of the evening with a header crossed over by Kupono Low and deflected by Chivas goalkeeper Preston Burpo to David Stokes then shot wide again by Edozien.
Chivas USA didn't really have any dangerous plays throughout the half while Philip Long, Chris Carrieri and Kupono Low all created opportunities.
In the 29th minute a left-footed rocket by Philip Long found its way into the back of the net bringing the score to 1-0 in favor of the home team.
"It was a little slippery," said Long, "but we adjusted and played for each other. It was a goal that we'd been waiting for and long days of hard work finally paying off."
Only eight minutes later Chris Carrieri passed the ball low to Anthony Maher who slid it past Chivas goalkeeper Preston Burpo for the two-zip lead.
Chivas USA recorded only two shots in the first half, the second one coming from Carlos Borja in the 45th minute easily saved by RailHawks Goalie John O'Hara.
"This is our home field," said forward Anthony Maher."We're still unbeaten here and we want to keep it that way. It doesn't matter if it's an MLS or European team we're going to get it done on our field."
The second half started with no changes to the sides as the rain subsides a little but leaves the pitch still damp and slippery.
Once again Connally Edozien began the scoring chances by receiving a cross from Worthen and shooting it but again he is denied by Burpo in the 47th minute.
Maher tried to put another one behind the former Seattle Sounders goalkeeper but again Burpo was alert and easily made the save.
The Carolina RailHawks had to adjust their midfield in the 60th minute when Low got ejected for his second booking and made his way off the field leaving the side with only ten players.
The RailHawks got a few more shots in, the most memorable of which was a right footed blast by Santiago Fusilier that hit the left post and rolled out of bounds.
The side controlled their advantage until the end earning RailHawks goalkeeper John O'Hara his first start and his first clean sheet of the franchise.
"I couldn't have asked for more," said the RailHawks goalkeeper, "Getting the first franchise win and a clean sheet was a great way to win a game. I think we were more prepared mentally for the conditions we found ourselves in."
"It's great to get our first win especially against an MLS team" said Carolina RailHawks Head Coach Scott Schweitzer.
"Once again the boys performed phenomenally, we were able to put two great goals in the back of the net and we hit a couple of posts. We will celebrate for a couple of hours and tomorrow we will start preparing for Atlanta and come back with a positive result against the Silverbacks."
Next the RailHawks will travel to Atlanta for the first fixture in the Southern Derby Cup against the Silverbacks on Saturday night at 7:30 PM.
As with all RailHawks matches you may catch them on USllive.com and on our broadcast partner WSHA 88.9FM. ::