CARY, N.C. (Sept. 29, 2012) – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2012 season ended with a 3-1 loss to the Carolina RailHawks in the first round of the NASL Playoffs at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on Saturday night in front of 2,534 fans. Ty Shipalane scored twice for the RailHawks and Carolina got another from Amir Lowery in the victory. the RailHawks advance to NASL Semifinals. Fort Lauderdale Forward Abe Thompson scored the lone goal for the Strikers.
The RailHawks took the lead in the 34th minute when Jason Garey took a turnover into the penalty area and spun around a defender to find Amir Lowery whose shot found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
After halftime, the RailHawks extended the lead to 2-0 when Brian Shriver made a run down the left sideline and crossed to Nick Zimmerman who found a cutting Ty Shipalane. His shot was deflected by the leg of Strikers goalkeeper Matt Glaeser, but still went into the net in the 52nd minute.
Fort Lauderdale would make it 2-1 in the 61st minute when Lance Laing sent a cross into the penalty area where forward Abe Thompson controlled the ball with his chest and placed his shot over the head of Carolina goalkeeper Ray Burse and into the net. The goal was the 18th of Thompson's career with the Strikers, putting him in a tie with Romario for the franchise's all-time record for goals.
Carolina would re-establish their two-goal lead in the 67th minute when Ty Shipalane scored his second goal of the game. This one coming on a pass from former Striker Brian Shriver.
Fort Lauderdale goalkeeper Matt Glaeser made several dramatic saves to keep the Strikers' hopes alive in the match, including stopping two one-on-one chances for the RailHawks to take a three-goal lead.
“When we made it 2-1 we thought we'd get back into it, but we gave the game away with a couple of mistakes,” said Strikers head coach Daryl Shore. “We won't make any excuses for ourselves. We weren't good enough tonight and it's a disappointing end to the season, but we'll regroup and hopefully be back next year.”
“Today we played a very good game,” said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke. “The team definitely played playoff soccer tonight and we got the result we needed. Now we need to focus on our next opponent and hopefully we will have another loud, passionate crowd to get us off to another good start next Saturday.”
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