Tampa Bay Rowdies at Carolina RailHawks
2012 NASL Semifinals Game 1
Saturday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. ET
WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, NC
The match can be seen live online here.
Regular Season Records (W-T-L)
Tampa Bay: 12-9-7, 45 points, 2nd place
Carolina: 10-10-8, 40 points, 4th place
Tampa Bay travels to Carolina to play the first leg of the NASL Semifinals. The Rowdies will then host the RailHawks in the second leg, with the winner on aggregate advancing to the NASL Finals. This is the second straight year the Rowdies have made it into the NASL Playoffs, losing to Minnesota in the 2011 edition.
2012 NASL Coach of the Year & NASL Fair Play Award
The Rowdies earned their second consecutive NASL Fair Play Award on September 27, given annually to the team that compiles the best discipline record during the regular season. On October 4, Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill earned the inaugural 2012 North American Soccer League Coach of the Year Award, given annually to the best coach in NASL as voted by media and soccer writers nationwide.
Tampa Bay owns a 1-4-5 mark (W-T-L) against Carolina since its return in 2010. The two teams played to a tie in all four meetings this season. Tampa Bay’s only win in the series came in 2010, a 2-1 victory at Carolina on May 14.
The Rowdies played to a 0-0 tie on Saturday, September 22 at WakeMed Soccer Park. This marked the end of the 2012 regular season, as goalkeeper Jeff Attinella picked up his 11th shutout on the season.
The second-placed Rowdies finished the regular season in with 45 points, posting a 12-9-7 record. The five away victories are tied for most by any team in the league, and the Rowdies have only lost one game at home during the regular season.
Forward Daniel Antoniuk leads the Rowdies with seven goals, while forward Mike Ambersley has eight assists, tied for most in the league.
Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella is second in the league with a goals against average of 1.07, while leading the league with 118 saves. Attinella’s 11 shutouts helped the Rowdies give up only 30 goals this season, tied for second lowest in the NASL. The Rowdies enter the playoffs with six-game unbeaten streak and a 2-3-0 record in their last five games.
The RailHawks recorded a 3-1 victory over the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers this past Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC in the 2012 NASL Playoffs.
Midfielder Tiyi Shipalane led the way for Carolina, scoring twice in the match including the game-winning goal, while midfielder Amir Lowery scored his first goal of the season to push the RailHawks into the semifinals. Strikers forward Abe Thompson scored the only goal for the Strikers.
In the 2012 season the RailHawks finished with 40 points, earning fourth place in the NASL standings. With a record of 10-10-8, they finished third in the league for the fewest losses in the league, behind San Antonio and Tampa Bay with both having only seven losses this season.
Their leading scorer Nick Zimmerman was second in the regular season with 15 goals. Midfielder Mike Palacio led the team with six assists, tied for third in the league. Goalkeeper Ray Burse was fifth in the regular season with 82 saves. Carolina scored 44 goals in the regular season, second-most in the NASL, but allowed a league-high 46 goals, tied with Ft. Lauderdale. The RailHawks finished with a 1-3-1 record in their last five games of the regular season.
Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill
“We know that the match on Saturday will be tough,” said Hill. “It is crucial to get a good result in order to come back to Al Lang Stadium next week and grab the ticket into the finals. I am pleased with our style of play at different moments in the last two matches against Carolina.”
“With that being said, we need to implement our style throughout both legs of the semifinals,” commented Hill. “If we want to be in the finals, we cannot make any mistakes and I have told the players that I expect them to go out there on Saturday with a winning mentality. We hope to comeback to Al Lang with a positive result, knowing that our fans will be there on the 13th supporting us like they have done all season long.”
The Rowdies will host the second leg of the NASL Semifinal on Saturday, October 13 at Al Lang Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available starting at $12. For more information and for discounted tickets, call our front office at 813.287.1539 or log on to RowdiesSoccer.com!