At this point, a lot of the Carolina RailHawks are still searching for solutions.
Zero wins after five matches into the season can do that for a new group led by a new coach.
The RailHawks fell 1-0 to the San Antonio Scorpions in front of a Carolina home crowd Saturday night.
Both first-year coach Colin Clarke and midfielder Nick Zimmerman said the team has too many areas to improve on that they can’t say with certainty which is the bigger problem.
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The RailHawks (0-3-2) haven’t scored many goals this season. Their defense at times has been lackadaisical. And sometimes, their best scoring chances are wasted when the referee has to blow his whistle for one of the RailHawks being offside.
That happened twice in Saturday’s match.
In the first half, Zimmerman took a shot from deep inside San Antonio’s territory. With the ball headed to the net, forward Jason Garey deflected Zimmerman’s shot past San Antonio goalkeeper Daryl Sattler. For a moment, the crowd at WakeMed Soccer Park stood in celebration. But the referee signaled that Garey was offside in the penalty box.
“I just took a touch and wanted to get it on target,” Zimmerman said. “I really thought we had our chances, and it’s unfortunate for them to not go in.”
Carolina played better in the second half.
The RailHawks limited the Scorpions’ scoring opportunities, but in the 82nd minute, the Scorpions (1-2-1) took the lead. San Antonio midfielder Kevin Harmse scored on a give-and-go play deep inside the RailHawks’ penalty box.
Forward Esteban Bayona recorded the assist.
“We didn’t do a good job of getting the ball out of the danger area,” Clarke said. “We got caught there.”
The RailHawks could have tied the match in the 90th minute when midfielder Ty Shipalane, who replaced Mike Palacio, put the ball in the net after securing a rebound. Again, though, Chapin said Shipalane was offside.
Clarke said he was disappointed after the match.
“We have to keep our heads up,” Clarke said. “We are moving in the right direction, but now it’s going to start to become somewhat of a mental thing.”