CARY, NC (October 17, 2010) – The Carolina RailHawks advanced to championship final, after a 2-0 victory over the Montreal Impact on Sunday night. Goals from Brad Rusin and Tom Heinemann were enough to lift the RailHawks to their first shot at the league championship.
“I’m just really proud of the players, the way they’ve battled over the two legs,” said RailHawks head coach Martin Rennie. “Montreal is such a tough opponent to play and we’re just so excited to get the RailHawks into their first final.”
The teams played a tentatively scoreless first half, and the RailHawks headed to the locker room down 1-0 on aggregate. With the season on the line, the pressure mounted as each minute elapsed. However, the RailHawks remained poised in the face of adversity.
With the crowd starved for the series tying goal, RailHawks captain Brad Rusin was more than happy to deliver. In the 72nd minute, Daniel Paladini served in a free kick from left midfield that created a chaotic flurry. The ball fell to Floyd Franks who fired a quick shot that Matt Jordan initially turned away. Matt Watson gained control of the rebound and keenly played a low cross to Rusin, who finished with authority.
The game was all set to proceed to a sudden death overtime period, but Tom Heinemann had different plans. In the 89th minute, Matt Watson picked up his second assist of the game, as he sprung Heinemann on a breakaway. Instead of trying to direct it past Matt Jordan, Heinemann smashed the ball into the upper right corner of the goal and left nothing to be desired.
Next, the RailHawks face the winner of the Vancouver-Puerto Rico series in the final round of the playoffs. The exact date for the home leg will be determined soon, stay tuned to http://www.carolinarailhawks.com for updates. Tickets can be purchased by calling the LGFCU Box Office at 919-859-5425 or by visiting http://www.carolinarailhawks.com.
Carolina RailHawks: Eric Reed, Kupono Low, Brad Rusin, Daniel Woolard, Cory Elenio, Amir Lowery, Floyd Franks, Matt Watson, Daniel Paladini, Tom Heinemann, Etienne Barbara (Josh Gardner, 90)
Montreal Impact: Matt Jordan, Nevio Pizzolitto, Hicham Aaboubou, Adam Braz, Patrick Leduc, Philippe Billy, Leonardo Dilorenzo, Tony Donatelli, Anthony Le Gall (Rudolph Mayard, 68), Eduardo Sebrango, Ali Gerba
Scoring: Brad Rusin (Watson) (CAR, 72nd), Tom Heinemann (Watson) (CAR, 89th)
Cautions: Leduc (MON, 57th), Mayard (MON, 72nd), Barbara (CAR, 75th), Rusin (CAR, 86th), Aaboubou (MON, 90th), Terminesi (MON, 90th)