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League One Weekend Takeaways – Week 3

By JOHN ARLIA - john.arlia@uslsoccer.com, 04/15/19, 3:00PM EDT

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Lansing delivers for home crowd, Pepi keeps his cool at the death for North Texas

HOME CROWD IGNITED: After opening the season with two games away from home, Lansing Ignite FC played its inaugural regular-season contest at Cooley Law School Stadium and put on a bright attacking display for the home crowd of 3,369 fans. With the visiting Richmond Kickers going down to 10 men late in the first half, Lansing took full advantage after the break with goals from Nick Moon, Alex Bruce and Grant Stoneman. The defensive duo of Moon and Stoneman didn’t look the part of their positions as they produced a pair of picturesque strikes to help Ignite FC earn its second win of the season.

UNFAVORABLE OPPONENT: We may only be three weeks into the season, but there’s no doubt the Kickers are already tired of seeing Ignite FC on the opposite side of the field. Lansing spoiled Richmond’s home opener at City Stadium in Week 1 with a 3-2 victory and doubled down on Saturday with another three-goal showing. Unfortunately for the Kickers, there’s a third meeting between the two sides just three weekends away at City Stadium, but maybe the third time will prove to be the charm for Richmond.

COOL IN CRUNCH TIME: In just two games, North Texas SC forward Ricardo Pepi has proven himself as one of the coolest customers in the league. The 16-year-old netted the first hat trick in league history on his professional debut in Week 1 to help his side to victory over Chattanooga Red Wolves SC and showed that display was no fluke on Saturday against Forward Madison FC. With the game scoreless, Pepi stepped up to the penalty spot in the 95th minute and coolly slotted a right-footed effort beyond the outstretched fingertips of Madison goalkeeper Carlos Avilez to continue North Texas’ 100 percent start to the season.

KEEP ON KEEGAN ON: After scoring the first goal in Triumph SC history last weekend in his side’s 2-1 victory over Lansing Ignite, Jake Keegan delivered again on Saturday to help Greenville pick up back-to-back home wins at Legacy Early College. And for the second straight week, it was Carlos Gomez playing provider for Keegan, this time delivering a low cross from the right wing for the 27-year-old to tap into the back of the net with a sliding finish. Triumph SC’s 1-0 victory over Chattanooga Red Wolves SC moved it into a tie for second place in the standings, just two points behind league leader South Georgia Tormenta FC.

BATTLING BACK: After picking up seven points from its opening three games, South Georgia Tormenta FC was staring down an unexpected first defeat at Orlando City B as the home side held a 1-0 lead heading into injury time. However, Lars Eckenrode’s header in the 94th minute ensured league-leading Tormenta FC would continue its unbeaten start to the campaign. Toronto FC II also managed a point from a losing position this past weekend, as Jordan Hamilton’s close-range header in the 79th minute cancelled out Jamael Cox’s opener six minutes earlier to give the Reds four points from two road games to start the season.


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