As fireworks started to go up in the neighborhoods surrounding Weidner Field on Thursday, the Switchbacks’ attempts at an equalizing goal against Orange County Soccer Club turned out to be duds.
Goalkeeper Patrick McLain watered down the Switchbacks attack one final time, punching away Logan Dorsey’s effort in stoppage time to secure Orange County’s 2-1 win on the road.
McLain also denied Austin Dewing an equalizer and saw Abdul Rwatubyaye’s header bang off the crossbar. The Switchbacks also earned a handful of late corners and set pieces with a man advantage after Orange County’s Walker Hume was sent off for a shot to Matt Hundley’s face but couldn't convert.
“I think we deserved more out of the game,” interim coach Wolde Harris said.
While it was Harris first game, the results were consistent with the earlier games, as the Switchbacks lost their fifth one-goal contest of the season.
Hundley, who returned to the starting 11, noticed differences, however.
“His style of play is different of course,” Hundley said of Harris. “(We’re) a little more of an attacking team now.”
That would make sense as Harris played as an attacker, while former coach Steve Trittschuh was more of a defender.
“I want to see attacking football,” Harris said. “We want to have attacking football because it’s entertaining, not to say we weren't playing attacking football.”
Shane Malcolm and Saeed Robinson had strong individual efforts to create scoring chances in the first half, but the two teams went to the half without a goal.
That changed quickly in the second half. Rony Argueta gathered the ball and cracked a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner for his first goal of the season in the 47th minute.
As has been the case prior to the coaching change, the Switchbacks failed to hold on to a lead.
Michael Seaton raced past the Switchbacks’ defense off a throw in and finished around Colorado Springs keeper Andre Rawls in the 49th minute. In the 77th, Kevin Coleman got to the end line and played a pass across goal, leaving Giovanni Ramos-Godoy a simple finish for the eventual game-winner.
“The game came down to two moments for us defensively,” Harris said. “Just a lapse in concentration, and they were able to capitalize on that. That being said, we still created three more chances.”
Those chances went unanswered, and the best crowd at Weidner Field this season had to wait until after the final whistle to catch fireworks at Weidner Field. While the result wasn’t what the fans desired, the support was appreciated.
“It’s awesome to have everyone out here,” Hundley said. “It definitely pushes the team to a further level. We were pushing toward the end, almost got a goal … got unlucky with the crossbar. It was definitely the fans that kept us pushing the whole game.”
After the holiday game, Harris and the Switchbacks have a couple extra days to prepare for a July 13 home game against Tulsa Roughnecks.
“Overall, the effort from the guys was superb, and the energy was pretty positive,” Harris said after his team outshot the visitors 14-11. “So we’re going to take the positives.”