COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO (April 15th, 2023) – The Colorado Springs Switchbacks couldn’t find the back of the net as they are easily handled by the Western Conference leading Sacramento Republic FC Saturday night.
Colorado Springs tried to set the tone off the opening kickoff, as they sent four attackers flying into the offensive half with #5 Matt Mahoney playing the ball forward. Maalique Foster would try and play it on net, but Sacramento goalkeeper #31 Danny Vitiello was ready at his far post to keep the Switchbacks off the board. The Republic would be quick to counter as they would send a chance across an open net just minutes later, but no one was there to cash it in, but SRFC would learn from the early mistake. In just the 8th minute, the home squad would find the net as #3 Damia Viader would curl a shot in from the near sideline on which COS keeper #1 Christian Herrera would make the initial save, the rebound, though, would bounce to #11 Russel Cicerone who finished his 50th professional goal, giving Sacramento Republic a 1-0 lead.
The early momentum leaned the way of Sacramento as the Switchbacks FC struggled with discipline, having #4 Macauley King, #99 Maalique Foster, and #80 Speedy Williams all booked with cautions in the opening 15 minutes. Colorado Springs would grab the momentum back, however, as #11 Deshane Beckford used his speed to create a promising opportunity in minute 23. As Beckford cut past a defender to the near post, his cross would roll harmlessly across the open net and out of play. The visitors would keep up the pressure midway through the first, as #12 Drew Skundrich and Maalique Foster had back-to-back chances in the 29th and 31st minutes, but both were kept out by Vitiello.
Sacramento would remain in control of the scoreboard as they closed out the second half with a pair of goals, one from Viader in the 37th minute, and another from #96 Luis Felipe, both opportunities created as Sacramento beat the Switchbacks defense in transition. The Republic would head to the locker room for halftime with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Colorado Springs would send a message that they weren’t going to be pushed around as COS #13 Stevie Echevarria and SAC #8 Rodrigo Lopez came together just after play resumed out of the break. Both teams would exchange words before separating while Echevarria and Lopez both were shown yellow. Discipline would be a continued topic in the latter 45 as eight cards would be dished out in the second half, the most notable being a second yellow, turned red, which saw Colorado Springs’ Macauley King sent off in the 79th minute.
Colorado Springs would continue to try and get on the board to no avail in the second half, with the closest chance coming off an Aaron Wheeler header which bounced just wide right four minutes into stoppage time. On the following play, the Switchbacks defense was caught once again, this time by Sacramento forward #17 Luther Archimede, as he broke free up the middle and finished the exclamation, past Herrera at 90+6′ to seal the 4-0 victory for Sacramento, moving SRFC into sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.
The Colorado Springs Switchbacks return to Weidner Field on Saturday, April 22nd for a showdown against New Mexico United in our Earth Night match. Tickets to that match and all other matches for the 2023 season are available at www.switchbacksfc.com/schedule.