Newly-owned RailHawks conclude 2015 season with 3-1 win over Indy Eleven
Posted October 30, 2015
Updated October 31, 2015
“I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss.”—Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”
The game itself felt superfluous except to its participants and supporters with a penchant for bittersweet endings. Friday began with a change in ownership for the beleaguered Carolina RailHawks. It ended with revelry between team supporters and new owner Steve Malik that stretched from WakeMed Soccer Park to downtown Raleigh.
In between, the RailHawks re-signed sparkplug Tiyi Shipalane, announced that Colin Clarke would return for his fifth season as head coach next year and named team president Curt Johnson the general manager, too. Oh by the way, Carolina concluded a star-crossed 2015 campaign with a 3-1 win over Indy Eleven.
That man Shipalane delivered a cross off the right wing nine minutes into the match that slipped through to Nacho Novo charging the goalmouth. The Spaniard striker redirected sphere into net for a 1-0 lead. It was Novo’s team-leading 11th goal and Shipalane’s league-leading ninth assist.
Carolina doubled their advantage in the 16th minute. Futty Danso served a long ball forward to Shipalane, who slipped around defender Marco Franco before poking a deft left-footer past Indy goalkeeper Keith Cardona for his seventh goal for ‘15.
Indy Eleven got a goal back in the 24th minute when defender Jaime Frias blasted a rocket shot that grazed Hawks keeper Hunter Gilstrap’s fingertips before clanging off the crossbar. Marvin Ceballos was conveniently stationed to ease in the rebound and cut the RailHawks’ lead to 2-1 entering intermission.
The final fireworks—well, before the actual post-game fireworks—came compliments of a Mark Anderson free kick in the 86th minute that found the noggin of Alex Perez far post. His caroom found cord for the final 3-1 margin.
The RailHawks conclude the NASL regular season with a 9-8-13 (35 pts.) record and a sixth-place finish in the overall league table. That comes after finishing third in the spring season but flirting with the league basement in the fall.
Now begins a new era for the Cary-based soccer club, which will undoubtedly bring roster upheaval. Some players won’t be asked back; some will be poached by other clubs.
A flock of future RailHawks will roost in Cary next spring, their plumage brightened by added resources directed towards payroll, scouting and statistical analytics.
2015 became a tale of two season. But over a tumultuous five months, the worst of times has given way to renewed hope for the best of times.
CAR: Gilstrap, Low, Tobin, Danso, Miller, Osaki (Anderson, 78’), Perez, Hlavaty (Thompson, 57’), Shipalane, da Luz, Novo (Catic, 87’)
IND: Cardona, Frias, Norales, Janicki, Franco, Steinberger (Ring, 73’), Pena (Kleberson, 83’), Ceballos (Lacroix, 73’), Smart, Mares, Brown
CAR: Novo, 9’ (Shipalane); Shipalane, 16’ (Danso); Perez, 86’ (Anderson)
IND: Ceballos, 24’ (Frias)
CAR: Osaki, 64’
IND: Pena, 33’; Mares, 90’
ATTENDANCE: 6.272 (WakeMed Soccer Park)