Photo courtesy Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In a comprehensive performance, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC proved too much for Saint Louis FC in a 3-0 victory at Weidner Field on Saturday night. The hosts started the game brightly, looking to take the game to Saint Louis, but often wanted to make too many passes before taking a shot which would allow the visiting defense to close the gap. The Switchbacks controlled the first half-hour and in the 30th minute got the reward for all of that work when midfielder Luke Vercollone was brought down on a corner kick, allowing him to then dust himself off and take the resulting penalty kick, sending Jake Fenlason the wrong way to open the scoring. The Switchbacks continued to control things in the second half and on the hour-mark the hosts doubled their lead through Saeed Robinson. After fellow midfielder AJ Ajeakwa got the ball and squared for Robinson who waited for Fenlason to come off his line, and then shot powerfully over him, sneaking it under the bar. With a two-goal lead the hosts were able to give up possession and absorb the pressure, but Saint Louis' pressure rarely looked threatening as Colorado Springs cruised defensively. The win was sealed in stoppage time as Vercollone wrapped up his brace, using his marker as a shield to catch Fenlason unsighted before sending his finish into the back of the net.
32’ – COS – Luke Vercollone (Penalty)
61’ – COS – Saeed Robinson (AJ Ajeakwa)
90+3’ – COS – Luke Vercollone (Shane Malcolm)
Three Things That Matter:
1. With just one win in its last six matches, the Switchbacks needed to get things going quickly and were clinical tonight managing seven shots on target from a total of 11 for a 63.6 percent shooting accuracy rate. With a difficult road trip to Las Vegas coming up next week, Colorado Springs needed to prove it can score goals and did so tonight.
2. Colorado Springs pressure opponents into making mistakes, and that happened again on Saturday night. Currently sitting third in USL with 181 interceptions the Switchbacks made another 15 tonight, allowing the hosts to limit Saint Louis' looks on goal and chances to set any kind of tempo in the attacking half.
3. After what seemed a good and promising run of form, Saint Louis FC is now winless in five matches. With more possession (57.4 percent), more passes (444) and a greater duels success rate (54.3 percent) the pieces are there but Saint Louis wasn't able to string all of that together for a win, and will have to figure it out quickly ahead of the visit of a strong Phoenix Rising FC side on Wednesday.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Luke Vercollone, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Vercollone made the penalty that he would go on to score before adding a second goal in stoppage time to cap an impressive performance where he managed to get all five of his shots on target.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. Las Vegas Lights FC – June 2, 11p.m. ET, Cashman Field
Saint Louis FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC — May 30, 8:30p.m. ET, Toyota Stadium