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Monday, May 19, 2014

Perez, Louisville sneak past Bulls in extra-inning nail-biter

Posted By on Mon, May 19, 2014 at 11:18 PM

File photo by Orin DayBulls outfielder Jerry Sands takes a cut.DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK Another check-in on the Durham Bulls, who are tied for their usual first-place spot in the International League's South Division. Tonight is Game 3 of a four-game set against the Louisville Bats, the Cincinnati Reds' affiliate which is in third place in the West Division. The teams have split their first two meetings, and will square off again in Mid-June at Louisville Slugger Field. Merrill Kelly (4-1, 2.47) will square off with the Bats' Wang Chien-Ming (3-4, 4,79) on a cool spring evening. The teams go...

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dr. Jekyll, I presume? Carolina RailHawks cage Silverbacks 2-0, extend home unbeaten streak to 19 games

Posted By on Sun, May 18, 2014 at 1:51 AM

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—Perhaps in no sport is home field advantage more pronounced than soccer. In England, it’s not uncommon for certain teams to go decades without winning a match on a perennial competitor’s home ground. But throughout the course of virtually any season, a team will win some on the road and lose some at home. Then there’s the Carolina RailHawks. The home versus road dichotomy Carolina has developed dating back to the end of its 2012 season is both pronounced and jarring. With its 2-0 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks Saturday evening before a season-high attendance of 5,527...

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

"Balls to the wall': Carolina RailHawks man the ramparts for 1-0 win over New York Cosmos

Posted By on Sun, May 4, 2014 at 2:58 AM

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—After the Carolina RailHawks were thrashed 4-nil by the expansion boots of Ottawa Fury FC a mere week ago, the last thing anybody expected was that the RailHawks could rely on their defense for a win against the defending NASL champion New York Cosmos. But even after losing two players to bookings and another to injury, the RailHawks did just that, shutting out New York while riding a first-half goal from Ty Shipalane to a 1-0 win over the Cosmos. It was a tale of two halves. It took only 12 minutes for the RailHawks’ counterattacking strategy...

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Unlucky 13 for Bulls in slugfest loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 12:24 AM

Photo by Orin DayDurham's Mikie Mahtook slides in safely at third. Durham manager Charlie Montoyo is at rear. RailRiders third baseman is Zelous Wheeler. Umpire is Joey Amaral.DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK Checking in on the Durham Bulls, who after 25 games are sporting the most wins of anybody in the International League. Of course that’s par for the course for a team that’s made the playoffs 12 times in its 16 seasons in the league.Tonight is Game 3 of a four-game set with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, erm, RailRiders. The former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and Empire State Yankees are managed...

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

RailHawk resurrection: Carolina steamrolls Strikers 4-1 to extend home unbeaten streak to 17 games

Posted By on Sun, Apr 20, 2014 at 8:10 AM

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK / CARY—At the outset of his postgame press conference, Zack Schilawski stared down for several seconds at the match stat sheet resting on the media room podium. “You scored two goals,” cracked one reporter, breaking the extended silence. Schilawski cackled. “Thanks, I couldn't believe it. I had to make sure.” Indeed, the most believable aspect to the Carolina RailHawks’ 4-1 win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in Cary Saturday evening was that it extended the RailHawks’ extraordinary unbeaten streak at WakeMed Soccer Park to 17 games. Weather, a short preseason and an Easter weekend kept the 2014...

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Atlanta Ultras, supporters group for NASL's Silverbacks, hit with 3-game ban

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 1:12 AM

UPDATE, 4-17-2014, 10:00 p.m.: Today, the Atlanta Silverbacks posted a press release to their team's website, officially confirming the three-game ban imposed on the Atlanta Ultras supporters group. In the release, the club attempting to clarify that this suspension was imposed by the club, not the NASL. The release states that "the league was not involved in the sanctions." The release also states that team president Andy Smith verbally informed the Ultras of these sanctions within 48 hours of last November's Soccer Bowl, but that a written reminder was delivered to the group earlier this week. In a post yesterday to their...

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Different game, different team: Carolina RailHawks 2014 NASL preview

Posted By on Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 5:03 PM

No more wondering about roster additions. No more pining for boffo friendlies. And no more ice storms cancelling preseason scrimmages. Ready or not, the Carolina RailHawks open their 2014 season this weekend. The RailHawks travel to Indianapolis this Saturday to kick off their 2014 North American Soccer League (NASL) regular season. This year, a nine-game spring season will determine one berth in the newly minted four-team postseason playoffs. The RailHawks certainly face an uphill climb as one of the five NASL teams with only four homes games in the spring, one of three teams that both open and close...

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson discusses league expansion, playoffs, MLS, paid match streaming and other topics in advance of 2014 regular season kickoff

Posted By on Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 11:49 PM

On Tuesday, Bill Peterson, embarking on his second season as commissioner of the North American Soccer League (NASL), held a couple of media conference calls in advance of the 2014 NASL regular season, which kicks off this weekend. Next week, Peterson will visit North Carolina when he attends a Carolina RailHawks fan forum planned for Wednesday, April 16 at 6 p.m. in Raleigh. In the meantime, the RailHawks open their 2014 campaign this Saturday when they visit Indianapolis to take on Indy Eleven in the debut match for that new expansion club. Indy Eleven anticipates a sellout crowd of approximately...

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Merritt, Mudcats take series lead over Nationals in pitchers' duel

Posted By on Sat, Apr 5, 2014 at 10:18 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Checking in on the Carolina Mudcats, who are off to a 1-1 start heading into their first Saturday night home game of the season. It’s Game 3 for new skipper Scooter Tucker against the Potomac Nationals - the current affiliates of the Washington Nationals, of course — who were long ago known as the Prince William Pirates.Photo by Dean Strickland O.D.Mudcats starter Ryan Merritt fires a strike against Potomac.Heading to the mound tonight for the Mudcats is Ryan Merritt (6-9, 3.42 at Lake County before a late callup to Zebulon last season.) The Nationals will counter with...

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Come fly with us: Triangle Soccer Fanatics reorganize and recruiting new members

Posted By on Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Oh when the ‘Hawks go marching in, Oh when the ‘Hawks go marching in, Lord how I want to be in that number, When the ‘Hawks go marching in. If you've ever attended a Carolina RailHawks game, you’re already familiar with the Triangle Soccer Fanatics (TSF). You’ve heard their chants and the bang of their bass drum. You've seen the flags, banners, posters and tifo. And you've watched the orange smoke envelope the 309 Depot, named for the section at WakeMed Soccer Park that the RailHawks’ supporters group calls home throughout the season. Now, TSF wants to hear from you. This week, the group officially...

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sands, Bulls come back to save Opening Night

Posted By on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 11:51 PM

Photo by Orin DayThe Durham Bulls showed off their massive new video board for the first time Thursday night.DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK The password is “Bulls Reborn” as the Bulls’ yard has a whole new look and feel for its 20th season. The place has undergone a $20 million renovation since last season, with a revamped entry plaza, a massive new video board inside the left-field “Blue Monster” and a huge club-level lounge behind home plate. Manager Charlie Montoyo is back for his eighth season as the Bulls begin defense of their Governors’ Cup title against the South Division rival...

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Play ball! Bulls, Mudcats open seasons in just a few hours

Posted By on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 12:19 AM

File photo by Chris BairdPitching should be a strength as the Bulls open defense of their Governors' Cup tonight.They’re at both ends of the full-season minor-league spectrum. The Durham Bulls, who have billed themselves as “America’s Favorite Minor League Team,” play at the Triple-A level, just one step from the Major League show. In their 17th season as the top affiliates of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Bulls are defending Governors Cup Champions and during their run have won that title four times plus one National Championship. The Carolina Mudcats play in the storied Class A-Advanced Carolina League, where they...

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

DeShields, Tar Heels become only local team in Sweet 16 this year

Posted By on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 11:58 PM

Photo courtesy ACCWBB DIgest/Dana E. WarrenDiamond DeShields hits an open layup against Michigan State.CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL There’s only one college basketball team from the Triangle still playing. And the young women’s squad from UNC, a rare team without a senior, gets one more home game in an attempt to get on an NCAA Tournament roll. The Tar Heels (25-9), seeded No. 4 in the Stanford Regional, will take on No. 5 seed Michigan State (23-9), and it will be interesting to see if their first-round games here carry over at all. UNC needed something close to a miracle to beat...

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Monday, March 24, 2014

DePaul's 3-point barrage gives Duke seniors a painful exit

Posted By on Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Photo courtesy Orin Day/ACCWBB DigestDePaul’s Centrese McGee (23) and Jasmine Perry (31) fight Duke’s Elizabeth Williams for a rebound. Duke’s No. 32 is Tricia Liston.CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM It gets a little more serious for Duke tonight. The Blue Devils, seeded No. 2 in the Lincoln Regional, blasted an outgunned Winthrop team by 42 points in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. But tonight’s opponent is Big East champion and No. 7 seed DePaul, which also has a 28-6 record and plays a somewhat similar level of opposition all season. Duke has made the Elite Eight round of...

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tar Heels come from 18 back to win a crazy one against UT Martin

Posted By on Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Photo courtesy Orin Day/ACCWBB DigestUNC players celebrate after their 18-point comeback. (L-R) Diamond DeShields, Danielle Butts, Allisha Gray, Stephanie Mavunga, Latifah Coleman, Jessica Washington.CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL UNC takes the floor in the NCAA Tournament for the 25th time, this time starting it without Sylvia Hatchell on the sidelines. The coach has been battling leukemia all season and was hoping to be on the bench to start the tournament, but she isn’t quite ready. So veteran associate head coach Andrew Calder will direct the freshman-laden Tar Heels, who are ranked No. 12 in the country and boasting a 24-9 record without...

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Duke comes out on all cylinders, blows away Winthrop

Posted By on Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 5:23 PM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM It’s the beginning of the final run for Duke’s senior class, which came in as the nation’s top recruiting group and hasn’t disappointed. Tricia Liston, Haley Peters and Richa Liston enter their final NCAA Tournament hoping to get to their only Final Four, unfortunately with classmate Chelsea Gray on the bench with a season-ending kneecap injury and guard Chloe Wells no longer on the roster.Photo by Chris BairdTricia Liston drives for a layup. Duke’s No. 1 is Elizabeth Williams, and Winthrop’s No. 22 is Dequesha McClanahan. The Blue Devils (27-6) have a No. 2 seed — the...

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Newcomer Irish need no luck, blow by Duke to win ACC Tournament

Posted By on Sun, Mar 9, 2014 at 11:05 PM

GREENSBORO COLISEUM Duke gets a chance to repeat as ACC Women’s Basketball champion tonight, but to get that done the Blue Devils will have to slay Goliath. Notre Dame (31-0) won both regular-season meetings with No. 10 Duke by a total of 31 points, and the intrepid Blue Devils are down to their fourth point guard.Photo by A.N. OnymousDuke's Tricia Liston had a tough night, but was still named first team All-Tournament. But Duke (27-5) is coming off a brilliant 66-61 win over archrival UNC in Saturday’s nightcap following a 30-point rout of Georgia Tech, and it’s fair to say...

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Anatomy of a grudge match: Duke’s win over Carolina in five acts

Posted By on Sun, Mar 9, 2014 at 4:21 AM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM - Act I: The Run-Up For weeks, since UNC came from behind to slap down Duke by 8 in Chapel Hill, the rematch has loomed large. Once confident Duke fans, who more recently saw their purported top-five team humiliated by a not very good Wake Forest team last Wednesday, have grown nervous, with visions of the terrible smack talk they will endure at the gym, office and corner store if the Blue Devils somehow lose at Cameron. Anything could happen. The Tar Heels are on a demi-tear, winners of twelve in a row, some precariously, but winning nonetheless....

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Blue Devils get shot to defend ACC title against loaded Irish

Posted By on Sat, Mar 8, 2014 at 11:43 PM

Photo courtesy Orin Day/ACCWBB DigestDuke’s junior guard Ka’lia Johnson, who has played more big minutes over the past two games than at any time in her career, celebrates the Blue Devil victory.GREENSBORO COLISEUM It’s Semifinals Day at the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, and there’s good news and bad news for Triangle fans. Good news is that all the local teams — No. 14 N.C. State, No. 10 Duke and No. 13 UNC — are still alive and kicking. The bad news is that No. 2 newcomer Notre Dame with its 30-0 record is licking its chops to spoil the party....

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Pack, Devils, Heels all gain ACC women's semifinals

Posted By on Sat, Mar 8, 2014 at 12:17 AM

GREENSBORO COLISEUM It’s Day Three of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, and only NCAA Tournament-bound teams are left. Good news around the Triangle is that all three local teams are still around, although two of them got the double-byes to this point.Photo by Chris BairdNotre Dame's Taya Reimer drives to the hoop against Florida State. The first-session crowd materializes — although it’s much smaller than it would have been — despite the ice storm that seems to have paralyzed the Triad. The first game will see No. 4 seed and No. 14 ranked N.C. State (24-6) take on No. 5...

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Favored teams manage to survive Thursday's ACC Tourney action

Posted By on Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 1:09 AM

GREENSBORO COLISEUM It’s Day Two of the longest ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament ever, and today teams with winning records are in the house. So are the kids.Photo by Chris BairdUNC’s Diamond DeShields goes under the hoop for a layup. UNC’s No. 1 is Stephanie Mavunga. It’s the first of two days in which there are 11 a.m. “Education Day” contests, with youngsters bused in from Guilford county and surrounding school districts. The noisy one will have a lot of Orange, as Syracuse (21-8) makes its ACC Tournament debut against Clemson (13-18). The Tigers ended Virginia Tech’s WNIT hopes with a...

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Deacons, Cavaliers, Tigers survive ACC first-round games

Posted By on Wed, Mar 5, 2014 at 10:43 PM

Photo courtesy Orin Day/ACCWBB Digest Wake Forest’s Dearica Hamby skies for a layup. The Deacons’ No. 2 is Jill Brunori. Pitt’s No. 0 is Asia Logan and No. 51 is Cora McManus.GREENSBORO COLISEUM The 37th ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, the biggest such tournament in the conference’s history, begins this afternoon with three games including one in a night session. With the infamous “double bye” for the 15-team field No. 10-ranked Duke and No. 14-ranked N.C. State won’t even play until Friday, while No. 13-ranked UNC will take to the court on Thursday at 8. Today’s program features all the teams...

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Peters hits season-high 22 as Blue Devils top Wake again

Posted By on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 10:31 PM

Courtesy Orin Day/DWHoops.comHaley Peters drives down court on Senior Night. Wake’s No. 25 is Dearica Hamby while No. 5 is Chelsea Douglas. CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Duke comes into its Senior Night looking much different from how it did at the beginning of the season. The Blue Devils no longer have a natural point guard on scholarship. Alexis Jones joined Chelsea Gray with an ACL injury during Sunday’s game at Notre Dame. And Chloe Wells, who is missing her 10th game after suffering a bruised shin, is not introduced in pregame ceremonies along with Gray, Tricia Liston, Haley Peters and Richa...

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NASL unveils new 2014 postseason format

Posted By on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Today, the North American Soccer League (NASL) unveiled a new postseason championship format effective for the 2014 season. Branded “The Championship”—and conspicuously not “playoffs"—in the league's press release, the new format will comprise a four-team, two-weekend tournament with a semifinal round held the weekend of November 8-9 and the championship final held the following weekend, November 15-16. The tournament format, approved this week by the NASL Board of Governors, will feature the winners of the NASL’s spring and fall seasons at its top two seeds. The two season champs will be the top two seeds in the postseason, with the top seed...

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"We call that a go": Marcus Paige leads UNC men's basketball past N.C. State in overtime thriller

Posted By on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Photo by Adam David Kissick UNC guard Marcus Paige vies with N.C. State guard Tyler Lewis, PNC Arena, February 26, 2014 PNC ARENA/RALEIGH—You can probably spend your whole morning reading stories about UNC-Chapel Hill guard Marcus Paige, about Marcus Paige and North Carolina State forward T.J. Warren, about the they in last night's seesawing, palm-sweating, 85-84 overtime victory by the Tar Heels over the Wolfpack. I hope you saw the game. You're not going to see a better one in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season. Paige and Warren combined for 71 points, 35 of them...

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