by Caleb Byrd
WICHITA, Kan. – The Little Rangers drew with their NPSL Heartland Conference rivals FC Wichita Saturday evening by a final score of 2-2.
The Rangers opened the game strongly by scoring a goal in the 2nd minute. Nick Doyle, a central defender and team captain, tapped the ball into the back of the net after a long throw-in from Jordan Bates caused chaos in the penalty box.
“I was very delighted to see us score early on in the first half,” Rangers head coach Will Montgomery said. “It set the tone for how we were going to play for the remaining of the game.”
It did not take long for FC Wichita to respond to the Rangers’ goal, however, as the home team scored two goals in a matter of three minutes to take the lead. Luca Anelli scored for FC Wichita in the 15th minute, followed by a scoring strike from Leo Sosa in the 18th minute.
It wasn’t until the 55th minute that Nick Doyle was able to score his second goal of the game and level the score at 2-2. Doyle once again tapped the ball into the back of the net after a long throw-in from Bates. Both teams created chances to take the lead in the second half, but neither were able to take advantage and the game ended in a draw.
"In the 2nd half, we showed our resilience by coming out getting another early goal,” Montgomery said. “We were able to have numerous chances in this half, but FC Wichita's goalkeeper made to some very good saves. Overall, we've shown we will compete for 90-plus minutes in every game."
The Rangers nominated center back Nick Doyle as Man of the Match after Doyle put in a stellar performance and scored both of the team’s goals.
“Like most center backs, he relishes the opportunity to get on the scoresheet,” Montgomery said. “So, I was very pleased at how he remained calm and focused to collect 2 goals deep into the attacking 3rd.”
The Rangers have reason to be optimistic after a start to the season which has featured two points in two games. The Rangers still are waiting on players to join the team after their college semesters are over and still have time to build chemistry.
Little Rock will have their first home conference match next Saturday, May 20 at War Memorial Stadium. Kick-off will be at 7pm and tickets can be purchased online now or at the stadium ticket window which will open at 5pm on Saturday.
The entire match can be seen by clicking HERE.