The Switchbacks' 1-0 loss to the Swope Park Rangers at Weidner Field was more of the same in a sense, but it also featured a glimpse of what the team might look like moving forward after another frustrating finish.
The Rangers scored the game’s only goal in the 40th minute when striker Hadji Barry was in the right place at the right time after Jordan Schweitzer’s back pass to keeper Steward Ceus deflected off Jamal Jack’s boot and into Barry’s path. Barry tucked it around Ceus, off the post and in.
“He (Jack) did a phenomenal job of tracking the run, and it’s unlucky that it hits his back foot and suddenly Hadji’s through,” Schweitzer said Saturday. “No fault of his, I’ll take blame.”
While Schweitzer played a role in the only goal, he also partnered with college teammate Karsten Hanlin in a midfield that earned praise from coach Steve Trittschuh.
“Him and Schweitz, I thought they played pretty well together in there, especially moving the ball,” Trittschuh said.
“He (Hanlin) knows what he wants to do with the ball.”
Ceus made a one-on-one save early in the first 10 minutes to keep the Rangers off the board for the time being.
The Switchbacks appeared to have a quality chance to move in front in the 22nd minute when Luke Vercollone played a ball that sprung winger Shane Malcolm. The pass sailed over Swope Park keeper Eric Dick, who left his line, and settled on Malcom’s boot near the end line. Malcolm couldn’t quite bend his pass into the side net.
Jordan Burt found the ball at his feet with Dick out of position just before the half but saw his attempt from distance headed away by a Ranger defender.
The hosts' best chance in the second half seemed to come when Josh Suggs found himself in a 1-on-1 with Dick, but the keeper got a hand to Suggs’ attempt at a chip.
“It was a fluke goal, and it was against the run of play, but we did enough before that to score goals,” Trittscuh said. “We did enough after that to score goals. It’s frustrating, man. It’s frustrating.”
The Switchbacks had a narrow lead in possession and a more comfortable lead in shots, but only put four of their 16 attempts on goal, while Swope Park put five of its nine on frame.
“To not necessarily dominate games, but to do enough to win a game and then lose a game, that’s the frustrating part,” Trittschuh said.
Following the addition of Hanlin early in the week and the expected official arrival of Nicolas Amoako, who was outside the locker room after the game, Trittschuh said adding additional players who do not join via loan is not likely.
Hanlin, however, appears to be someone the Switchbacks will use moving forward.
“I thought our buildup was even better with Karsten in there,” Trittschuh said. "I thought he added a lot to game. We were finding spaces, especially in that final third. It’s that final pass, final run. The quality is just not there.”