COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO (May 5th, 2023) – The Colorado Springs Switchbacks fell to El Paso Locomotive FC tonight as the teams faced off in a Friday night look. Despite a late game penalty kick, COS was unable to get the final equalizer, ending the match 3-2.
El Paso Locomotive took the early lead in the 10th minute as a quick pass from #27 Petrovic found #19 Solignac right in front of the goal inside the 8 yard box. Only two minutes later Petrovic would find the net for himself and double El Paso’s lead.
Despite the two goal lead, the two teams looked balanced in the first half, with El Paso earning nine shots and COS eight, and the two teams locked at possession 47% to 52%. Momentum looked like it was starting to shift towards the end of the first half, and Switchbacks goalkeeper #1 Christian Herrera had two great saves in the 20th and 30th minutes to keep the match alive.
The second half started fast, with both teams looking to increase their numbers on the scoreboard, and the Switchbacks notched three more shots in the first ten minutes of play, as well as holding 51% of the possession to El Paso Locomotive’s third in the first fifteen minutes of play. The pressure paid off, and in the 61st minute #15 Jimmy Ockford earned his first ever goal as a Switchback player, nodding in the ball off a beautiful corner kick from #17 Jairo Henriquez. El Paso would retaliate thirteen minutes later with #21 Sonupe to get El Paso’s third goal of the evening.
The Switchbacks weren’t giving up though, and it seemed like they might have another chance as El Paso Captain Yuma drew a foul that earned a penalty kick for the Switchbacks. #9 Romario Williams took the penalty, and earned a classic goal as he found the bottom right corner of the net. Despite the late push effort by the guys in black and blue, and ten shots on goal in the second half, the score wouldn’t change again and the final whistle would blow with the scoreboard at 3-2.
The Colorado Springs Switchbacks spend the rest of May on the road as they take on Memphis 901 FC, Loudon United, and Tampa Bay Rowdies. They’ll return home to Weidner Field on June 2nd for one of our most popular matches: Galactic Night, as they take on Oakland Roots SC. For tickets to that match, and all others, head HERE.
Head Coach Stephen Hogan:
“I think the first half we didn’t come out the way we wanted, after awhile I think the understanding of, you know, ‘they’re a very good soccer team’ which we definitely know but we haven’t, we didn’t really match their energy and it sort of showed in the beginning of the game. We settled in after a little bit in the first half, we created some chances, especially in the last fifteen minutes, I thought we were the better team, but you can’t give them two goals. It’s an uphill battle straight out the bat.”
On the fight to stay in and get the last two:
“We made some adjustments at halftime in terms of where the movement is, we changed the shape in midfield just to deal with their movement off the ball, which is one of the best in the league to be honest, and we countered them a lot, and we were all over them until that mistake. You can’t make simple mistakes like that, giving them any sort of chance of deflection. Christian [Herrera] couldn’t do anything about it, but if if not for that one you’d end with a draw. You probably don’t deserve a draw in that scenario if we’re realistically talking about it. They’re a very good team and they dominated most of the game but we did fight to get the second goal and that’s what we were saying at halftime, if you get the 2-2 and were at home, anything can happen.
On Ockford getting his first goal, scoring off a set piece:
“I think it’s great that we scored off a set piece, but it doesn’t really matter because you [we] didn’t get the result from it. But, it was a great header and a great delivery and we’ve been working on it and it’s something new we want to bring to the organization, scoring goals off of set pieces, we haven’t done it in 2 1/2 years. So yes its a great moment, and its a good goal.”
Man of the Match: Jimmy Ockford
Saves: COS: Herrera: (6) ELP: Diaz (3)
Goals: COS: Ockford (61′) (A: Henriquez); R. Williams (88′)(PK) ELP: Solignac (11′) (A: Petrovic); Petrovic (13′); Calvillo (60′)
Discipline: COS: YC: Musa (63′); Henriquez (70′); R. Williams (76′) ELP: YC: Lyons (36′); Calvillo (60′)