Colorado Springs, CO (September 30, 2017) – The Switchbacks kept their playoff hopes alive by defeating Orange County SC 2-1 thanks to goals by Taeseong Kim and Kevaughn Frater.
After last week's loss to Swope Park, the Switchbacks were in desperate need of three points as they hosted Orange County SC. The match got off to a physical start with both sides showing aggression early on. After a strong presence in the attacking third, the Switchbacks broke the deadlock in the 22nd-minute as Masta Kacher played the corner into Taeseong Kim who scored his first career goal with the Switchbacks. Just 8 minutes later, Luke Vercollone played a lobbed ball into Kevaughn Frater who showed great control as he gave the Switchbacks a 2-0 lead. Orange County was awarded a penalty kick just before halftime as Josh Phillips was issued a yellow card for his tackle in the box. Fortunately, Jerry van Ewijk's penalty went over the bar and the Switchbacks would take the 2-0 lead into halftime. However, Josh Phillips's yellow card meant he will miss the next match for accumulation.
Orange County came out strong out of halftime applying tremendous pressure on the Switchbacks. Orange County cut the lead in half in the 55th-minute as Irvin Parra headed a cross from Rodrigo Pachecobeating Jackson to his right. The second half continued to be a struggle between the sides as both teams had their opportunities but strong defensive efforts along with a few offside calls left each side limited. Orange County had an opportunity in stoppage time with a free kick just outside the box but it went straight into the wall. The Switchbacks would hold on to take the 2-1 victory, keeping their playoff hopes alive for the time being as they leapfrogged Orange County into 9th place. The Switchbacks will hope LA Galaxy II is able to defeat Energy FC on the road to keep the Switchbacks within two points of the final playoff spot. The Switchbacks will also need tonight's opponents to lose or draw their game in hand to avoid dropping back to 10th place.
"It was a good win tonight," said Head Coach Steve Trittschuh. "We've been preaching all week that we need to win. We overcomplicated the game though. We should have finished, but they showed great spirit and bite to finish the game out. We'll have to see where we end up. We've got two games left and hopefully, we'll win those two games and get into the playoffs."
"I loved the energy and fight tonight," said man of the match Kevaughn Frater. "It was great to win at home, now we've got to finish out the season strong."
The Switchbacks will return home next Saturday, October 7th at 6:00 P.M. as they take on Sacramento Republic FC in their home finale in a match to be aired on ESPN 3. Fans 21+ should arrive early as a limited amount of free beer will be available once the gates open at 5:00 courtesy of Budweiser. The Switchbacks will be celebrating Fan Appreciation Night with an end of the year party theme. Tickets start at just $12 and are available here.