Switchbacks winger Saeed Robinson got the goal he’s been hunting for since the start of the season, and it came at a great time for the club in Saturday’s 3-0 win over St. Louis at Weidner Field.
The Switchbacks had the only goal they would need by time Robinson scored his first of the season in the 61st minute, but a stretch of three games in eight days was beginning to show for Colorado Springs coach Steve Trittschuh.
“The second half, the guys were tired,” Trittschuh said, “and you can just see their legs are heavy, but they got through it,”
Robinson, whose speed has allowed him to consistently create chances this season only to see his shots frequently sail off target, had a clean look at goal in the second minute, part of an inspired start for the Switchbacks' attack, but yanked his shot wide.
It took until Luke Vercollone converted from the penalty spot after being pulled to the ground on a corner kick in the 32nd minute for the first breakthrough.
The Switchbacks took the 1-0 lead back to the locker room, and assistant coach Wolde Harris encouraged the Jamaican winger to focus on putting the ball on frame and see what happens.
Robinson, and Harris, found out roughly 15 minutes into the second half when AJ Ajeakwa played a square ball into a space Robinson and Sam Hamilton were running into. Robinson took control, touched it toward goal and put his shot on the underside of the crossbar for his first of the season.
“Sam knew I was going to goal, so he let it go for me. Plus, I needed that one,” Robinson said.
“Everyone knows that.”
Ajeakwa knew, too.
“Hey, you’re welcome,” Ajeakwa shouted as Robinson conducted a postgame interview. “You’re welcome.”
The Switchbacks, who owned an 8-3 advantage in shots on goal, got their third goal in added time when Shane Malcolm, who came on as a second-half substitute, cleverly beat his man on the end line and played the ball back for Vercollone, who used the keepers’ momentum against him with a shot to the near post.
“Shane did all the work, credit to him,” Vercollone said.
“They’re never easy. Every goal … I’ll take it. It’s one of the hardest things to do in soccer, and you don’t take it for granted.”
Steward Ceus recorded his third clean sheet at Weidner Field and was hardly tested as Jamal Jack and Pascal Eboussi played strong games at centerback for Trittschuh. Jack left in the second half with an injury, but it’s not expected to keep the sturdy defender out for long, if at all.
It turned out to be a big night not only from Robinson but for the club as a whole.
“Pascal and Jamal were fantastic tonight … everybody was,” Trittschuh said. “I know they’re tired. I know their legs are heavy. We needed that win for sure.”