Switchbacks FC coach Steve Trittschuh could’ve gone for one of the $3 margaritas that seemed to bring added life to Weidner Field after Saturday’s match against Reno 1868, a goalless draw that saw the Switchbacks held without a goal for a third consecutive game.
It’s the second time this season the team has gone at least 270 minutes without a goal despite consistent chance creation.
“Same thing, we got in their half a lot. We opened the game up at times. We just couldn’t get it,” Trittschuh said. “I don’t know if we need to bring somebody in or if we’re cursed or something. I don’t have any answers. It’s frustrating, but we just gotta keep working.”
That energy didn’t carry over to the pitch, however, as the Switchbacks settled for a point despite controlling the action. The Switchbacks had 16 shots to Reno’s five. Reno was unable to put a shot on goal, while the Switchbacks had four. The hosts also owned a 7-0 edge in corner kicks and had nearly 60 percent of the possession.
The Switchbacks’ best chance may have come early when Saeed Robinson’s cross in the ninth minute found AJ Ajeakwa unmarked inside the six-yard box. Ajeakwa’s initial header was right at Reno keeper JT Marcinkowski. Ajeakwa got to the rebound but had his second try blocked.
Another quality chance came late, as Robinson tried to beat Marcinkowski to the near post in the 90th minute only to see his shot deflect off the post.
Despite a lack of breakthrough, midfielder Luke Vercollone was encouraged with most everything but the final touch.
“We’re disappointed for not scoring, but defensively we’re very good, and we definitely had the better play, so there are positives,” Vercollone said, “but we’ve gotta start getting some results, especially at home.”
Goalkeeper Moise Pouaty had a drama-free night in goal as the Switchbacks’ back four of Taylor Hunter, Pascal Eboussi, Jamal Jack and Josh Suggs shut down the Reno attack when the 1868 tried to get forward.
“We just gotta figure out how to score,” Vercollone said. “Once we do that, we’ll be in very good shape.”
Forwards Toby Uzo and Marty Maybin came on as late substitutes with the hosts looking for a breakthrough. Niki Jackson, a loanee from Colorado Rapids, was not available after tweaking a hamstring.
While the Switchbacks managed a point with a second consecutive home clean sheet for Pouaty, Trittschuh hasn’t ruled out bringing in another player to bolster the attack.
“We can’t keep going like this. I’ve got to change something,” Trittschuh said. “If some guys have to sit, then they have to sit, but I have to find someone that can score goals.”