Little Rock, Ark. - It was a night full of fun, goals, and new faces for the Little Rock Rangers, who defeated Gulf Coast Premier League side, Gaffa FC 4-1. With former captain Nick Doyle and long-time defender Jaden Hoth stepping out of the side this season, the side needed to find leadership. Lance Crabtree and Carlos Beltran were two of the players coming back for consecutive seasons as the two both wore the armband at different times during the match.
Lance Crabtree kicked off the scoring in the 38th minute after a back-pass by the guests was met by a charging Crabtree, who rounded the goalkeeper and put the ball into an empty net. The Rangers controlled the game from then on, with multiple big chances coming, until a penalty kick was awarded in favor of the Stags in the 45th minute. Spencer Barber stepped up to take the 12-yard kick and buried it in the bottom left corner.
It was a new face that tagged Little Rock’s third goal as Cesar Cuellar hit a deep curling ball towards goal and caught the Gaffa goalkeeper off of his line, hitting the underside of the crossbar and bouncing down over the line. Man of the Match, Jose Vivas turned a defender near midfield to play in Adam Cerna in the 71st minute who took his time to find the back of the net for the Rangers fourth goal of the evening. Gaffa FC got one back in the 92nd minute after the Rangers gave up a penalty kick.
Players that made their debut for the Rangers tonight include: Cesar Cuellar, Jose Vivas, Steven Torres, David Montelongo, Mournir Boutarfa, Damian Soto, Patrick Chan, Adam Cerna, Bruno Brunetti, Alex Vidizzoni, and Javier Piedra.
The Stags travel to Shreveport, Louisiana to take on USL newcomer Blue Goose SC on May 11th. Kickoff is set for 7 PM.