MLS rookie Schilawski off to fast start with Revs

Nets hat trick in home-opener

Staff WriterApril 15, 2010 

Former Wake Forest and Cary High soccer standout Zach Schilawski didn't need long to draw the limelight at the professional level.

In fact, the rookie needed just 11 minutes to convert his first Major League Soccer goal into his first professional hat trick Saturday evening.

"Ever since I got here, I've been dreaming about that first goal," he said. "I never really dreamed about getting three. I couldn't have imagined any better."

Schilawski netted three goals in just 11 minutes to help the New England Revolution (2-1-0) earn its second consecutive win with a 4-1 victory against Toronto at Gillette Stadium.

With the performance, Schilawski became the first rookie in MLS history to register a hat trick in his home debut. It wasn't Schilawski's first memorable hat trick.

As a senior at Wake Forest, Schilawski recorded the first hat trick of his collegiate career in a 5-1 victory against Virginia Tech.

"That happened toward the middle of the season, and I hadn't scored many goals," he said. "I just put three in, and it gave me a lot of momentum. I was kind of hoping I could have momentum after this one and feed off that confidence."

Howell leaves CASL: Jay Howell's vision for the Capital Area Soccer League began with a lament.

Howell recalled that he was watching European soccer on television one day when he began to complain to his disinterested wife.

"I was saying, 'Ugh, I wish I could live there. I wish I could be there,' " he said. "Of course, women have clarity. She sort of nudged me and said, 'You need to create that here.' "

After 11 years as director of coaching for CASL, Howell is leaving the Triangle in the pursuit of introducing his vision to Alabama.

Next month, Howell will assume his new position as executive director of the Birmingham United Soccer Association.

During Howell's tenure at CASL, the club grew into one of the top full-service clubs in America, improving its strong recreational base with about 6,000 participants annually. The CASL Challenge League boasts over 130 teams playing in each of two seasons annually.

"I think that as a professional, that something in me, I also sensed that I needed to seek out a new opportunity to challenge myself," he said.

As Howell leaves to pursue the same vision in a new area, he said he has no laments about the one he leaves behind.

"I'd like to thank everyone at CASL for 11 years," he said. "I don't regret a second I had there."

RailHawks host Minnesota: The Carolina RailHawks (1-0-0) will face their second consecutive expansion team when they host the NSC Minnesota Stars at 7 p.m. Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park.

The RailHawks kicked off the 2010 season with a 2-0 win over AC St. Louis at home last Saturday.

The win marked the second straight year that the RailHawks had won their season-opener.

Minnesota had no such luck in its opener, losing 2-0 to Vancouver in the franchise's inaugural game.

NSC Minnesota proved to have its hands full against the runner-up in the USL-1 Championship and will enter another match as the underdog against the RailHawks.

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