May 30, 2013
The Carolina RailHawks advanced to the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Major League Soccer's defending champions the LA Galaxy.
"We played well tonight and deserved to win. The boys have been focused all week, we've been looking forward to this," said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke.
After a closely matched first half of play, Carolina took advantage of a Galaxy misstep. Midway through the second half RailHawks Zack Schilawski chased down a long ball and crossed to Austin Da Luz in front of the net. Da Luz one-touched the ball as it trickled past Galaxy goalie Brian Rowe.
With momentum on their side the RailHawks extended their lead in less than two minutes as Brian Shriver buried a shot to the far post. Schilawski set Shriver up down the side for his second assist of the game.
"The second half was kind of choppy. We gave away a goal where it probably shouldn't of been a goal but it was. It's one of those things where our young group of players I don't think reacted the best to the situation," said Galaxy reserve team head coach Curt Onalfo. "Credit to Carolina they kind of sensed that and kind of stomped us and got a second goal."
RailHawks goalie Akira Fitzgerald only faced one shot on goal making one save with no goals against. LA out-shot Carolina 10-7.
Galaxy's Robbie Rogers came off the bench in the second half to play in his first game since announcing he was gay. Rogers became the first active professional athlete to play after coming out.
A record crowd of 8,121 fans were in attendance for the match.
"We hope that we win some fans over, that they keep coming out not just to these games," said Schilawski. "I think the progress has been huge. As a guy that grew up here, kind of seeing it from day one, it just gets more and more exciting every day."
The RailHawks move on to face the MLS team Chivas USA on June 12 at 7 p.m. at WakeMed Soccer Park in a rematch from last season. Chivas USA beat Carolina 2-1 in a stoppage time penalty kick in the fourth round to end the Hawks Open Cup run in 2012.
"Would of been nice to beat them last year and we didn't get it done, so nice to be able to get a little revenge early," said Schilawski. "Looking forward to it."
Carolina returns to NASL action on the road this Saturday when they face the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. They will be back at WakeMed Soccer Park Saturday, June 8th when they host league rival Tampa Bay Rowdies.