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Last-minute goal gives Colorado Springs Switchbacks important lift, USL win over OKC

June 3, 2017 Updated: June 3, 2017 at 9:40 pm
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photo - Jun 3, 2017; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC midfielder Rony Argueta (14) celebrates his goal with defender Jack Jones (77) and midfielder Masta Kacher (10) in extra time against the Oklahoma City Energy FC at Weidner Field. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing/Switchbacks FC
Jun 3, 2017; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC midfielder Rony Argueta (14) celebrates his goal with defender Jack Jones (77) and midfielder Masta Kacher (10) in extra time against the Oklahoma City Energy FC at Weidner Field. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing/Switchbacks FC 

It was only a single win, but the Switchbacks are hoping that prevailing on a last-minute goal in Saturday's 1-0 win may be the spark needed to turn around their season.

Colorado Springs captain Rony Argueta took a pass from forward Jack Jones and ripped a chest-level shot past diving Oklahoma City goalkeeper Cody Laurendi with about a minute of stoppage time left for the United Soccer League game's only score.

"It was just heart," defender Josh Suggs said. "We kept battling with passion and heart. This could be the turning point for us."

The goal -- set up by Jones' first professional point -- lifted a crowd of 3,606 fans at Weidner Field to their feet and helped them forget how ugly a victory it was.

"That intensity was what I was looking for and what we talked about after Wednesday (a U.S. Open Cup loss)," coach Steve Trittschuh said. "But the quality still isn't there. We weren't effective in the offensive end (three shots) and we need to finish when we have chances."

"If we finish on those we don't have such an exciting finish," he added. "This could be a big win for us as we head on the road (next week) in LA. But we need to be better."

Seeing the necessary competitive fire from the Switchbacks (4-4-5) against the OKC Energy (3-5-1) was heartening for Trittschuh and his players.

"When we play with intensity, desire and compete we can win," Trittschuh said.

The win ended a 0-3-2 downturn since May 10 and kept the Switchbacks comfortably in the top half of the Western Conference and perhaps more importantly, feeling like a playoff contender.

"The team morale has been definitely low because of our performances and the results say it all," Argueta said. "I hope this lifts the squad's morale and people's confidence. I hope this is a turning point for us. It's a long season so we just need to stay positive."

Goalkeeper Moise Pouaty kept the Switchbacks in the game with six saves in the first half and recorded his second USL shutout.

The lanky Cameroonian was active throughout the game (six saves) and stepped up his performance when he made two short-range stops in the 13th and 30th minutes and then managed to reach out and tap away a header attempt in the 22nd minute to keep it scoreless.

Defender Pascal Eboussi also blocked an OKC shot that was headed toward the open Colorado Springs net in the 32nd minute to keep the game knotted at 0-0 at halftime.

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