Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC managed to end a three-game losing streak and a 368-minute scoring drought, while still struggling to finish in the run of play in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Rio Grande Valley at Weidner Field.
Captain Josh Suggs got the Switchbacks on the board for the first time since March 17 in the 63rd minute when his free kick forced Toros goalkeeper Nicolas Corti into a lose-lose proposition: either leave the line and open up goal or remain in a position to save a flick or a header. There wasn’t a second touch, however, and Suggs’ shot skipped just inside the six-yard box and into goal.
“Just put it into a dangerous spot, somebody flicks it. If not, hopefully it’s tough for the keeper,” said Suggs summing up his approach.
The Switchbacks doubled the lead minutes later when Jordan Burt converted his second penalty kick of the season after Toby Uzo was cut down in the box.
“It’s hard for him to be a 90-minute guy right now, but for him to come in like that, that’s what we’ve been waiting for,” coach Steve Trittschuh said of Uzo.
Burt’s strike to the top left corner allowed the Switchbacks to keep the three points despite a brief moment of poor defending that allowed Aldo Quintanilla to get a head to Jesus Enriquez’s cross in the 80th minute.
“As soon as that one went in, it’s bunker down,” Taylor Hunter, who spent last season with RGV, said.
The starting forwards - AJ Ajeakwa, Shane Malcolm and Saeed Robinson - continued to press the opposing back line, force giveaways and create chances with their speed, but the end result remained out of reach.
“We’re creating opportunities, and sooner or later those opportunities are going to turn into goals,” Suggs said. “It’s just a matter of time.”
The set piece and penalty score gives the Switchbacks something to build off before starting another road trip at Reno on Saturday.
“I just knew if we could score we would be all right. Defensively, I thought we were very good tonight,” Trittschuh said.
“All in all, I think it was a very good performance. We still created a lot of chances.”