The Switchbacks' postseason dreams were officially declared dead after Saturday night’s 2-1 loss to Phoenix Rising in the 2018 Weidner Field finale, but the hosts didn’t go down whimpering.
The Switchbacks found themselves in a 2-0 hole at the half and spent much of the second half pressuring the Phoenix back line.
“We came out in the second half, knowing we had nothing to lose,” forward Saeed Robinson said.
“We had to get goals. We got one, but it wasn’t enough.”
Robinson got the goal that made things interesting, settling a clearing header and taking a couple touches toward the middle before ripping a low shot that rolled into the bottom right side of goal, his third consecutive home game with a goal from outside the penalty area.
“It’s too late,” Robinson answered when asked about his recent run of play. ”My confidence is sky high right now.”
His goal energized an announced crowd of 4,971, nearly a sellout, and the Switchbacks pushed for an equalizer, which nearly came three minutes later when Jordan Burt headed a cross from Robinson off the far post and back into play before Shane Malcolm saw his rebound attempt saved by the keeper.
“I’ll give them credit,” coach Steve Trittschuh said. “In the second half, we changed things up. They didn’t quit.”
Phoenix took a lead in the 22nd minute when defender Joseph Farrell lost his mark on a run to the near post and headed a corner kick past Moise Pouaty. The visitors doubled the lead just before the half as Kevon Lambert’s run off a long goal kick went unmarked, allowing him to finish a 1-on-1 with the Switchbacks keeper.
“If you look at the goals, and really analyze the goals, it’s really bad mistakes,” Trittschuh said.
The Switchbacks will conclude their season with three road matches starting with Saturday's trip to Utah to face Real Monarchs. The club will have only pride and future opportunities to play for.
“I can’t even explain the feeling, because, like, the beginning of the season, that’s all I wanted to do, go to playoffs so we can contend for a title, but it is what it is,” Robinson said. “We have to play these three games and end the season on a positive note.”