El Paso Locomotive (16-2-10, 58 points) emphatically claimed a 4-2 win over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Southwest University Park on Wednesday.
Forward Ricardo Zacarias scored his first goal in a Locomotive jersey before Defender Macca King, Midfielder Diego Luna, and Forward Lucho Solignac scored three unanswered goals to secure the 4-2 win.
“This group has done so well,” said Head Coach and Technical Director Mark Lowry. “They’ve put us back into the mix of fighting for other things [than just Mountain Division]. Winning the group, can we push Phoenix as far as we can, those types of things. It’s a massive achievement from everybody over the course of the season. Everybody has played a role and contributed. I’m really proud as a coach that everybody is getting onto the field whether it’s because they need to out of necessity or they’re coming on because of tactical changes. Everyone over the core season has contributed to this.”
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC dominated the opening five minutes, controlling the flow of the game to put in an early fifth-minute goal, burying a rifled shot in deep to the net through Hadji Barry. Locomotive fired up, quickly turning momentum into their favor, resulting in a freekick at the top of the box.
Midfielder Nick Ross sent a picture-perfect ball to the far post that Zacarias converted to level the scoring. The first half ended with a poor Locomotive giveaway that opened Deshane Beckford to put Colorado Springs up at the break.
El Paso Locomotive FC came out swinging in the second half, completely dominating the tempo of the game. Off a cross served in from Ross, King began getting on his bike, spectacularly volleying a shot into the back net to level the scoring at two apiece.
Late into the game, Lucho connected at the end of a beautifully weighted pass from Defender Eder Borelli to provide a game-winner in the 86th minute. As Switchbacks used the stoppage time, eager to find an equalizing goal to salvage a point, Lucho started a counterattack that he laid off to Luna who passed in the easy goal to down Colorado Springs at Southwest University Park.
Up next, El Paso Locomotive plays again on Sunday, October 17 when it travels to Carson, California for LA Galaxy II. Kickoff from Dignity Health Sports Park is set for 6:00 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on ESPN+.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
COS: Hadji Barry (Sebastian Anderson), 5th minute: After early pressure, Switchbacks found a rapid lead, as Anderson grabbed the ball down at the end line before cutting the ball back center of the box for a waiting Barry. Barry took his shot after settling the ball to bury it deep into the back of the net.
ELP: Ricardo Zacarias (Nick Ross), 21st minute: After earning a freekick from a dangerous angle at the corner of the penalty area, Ross sent a perfectly weighted ball to the far post. Despite the traffic around him, Zacarias was there to meet it, redirecting the ball into the back of the net to level the game.
COS: Deshane Beckford (Andre Lewis), 35th minute: After picking the ball out of Locomotive’s pocket at the midfield, Beckford lay off a pass to Lewis to allow him a run deep into the attacking third. Lewis got the pass back to Beckford who broke past his defender, taking a low shot into the near post to put Switchbacks back in the lead.
ELP: Macca King (Nick Ross), 61st minute: Earning a corner kick opportunity, Nick Ross served the ball in deep to the back post where Macca King connected a volley despite being heavily marked by a defender. His volley connected past Sean Melvin to level out the scoring early in the second half.
ELP: Lucho Solignac (Eder Borelli), 86th minute: In the dying moments of regulation time, Borelli sent a perfectly weighted ball to find Lucho at the far post. Lucho perfectly and expertly connected the ball floating it up and over Sean Melvin to put away the game-winning goal.
ELP: Diego Luna (Lucho Solignac), 97th minute: As Switchbacks were fighting for an equalizer to salvage a point from the night, Lucho began a counterattack to break way with numbers against the Switchbacks defense. Sean Melvin rushed out off his line to stop Lucho’s attacking run but the veteran striker passed the ball off to Luna who sent it into a wide open net to put the game to bed.
– Midfielder Ricardo Zacarias scored his first goal of the season for Locomotive in front of family and friends from his hometown of Las Cruces.
– With the win tonight, El Paso Locomotive FC officially claimed a home playoff game on Saturday, November 6 to kick off the track to the trophy.
– Locomotive moves to 23 games undefeated at Southwest University Park and 466 calendar days.
Match: El Paso Locomotive vs Colorado Springs Switchbacks | Date: October 13, 2021
Venue: Southwest University Park; El Paso, Texas | Weather: 69F and clear skies
Scoring Summary 1 2 F
El Paso Locomotive 1 3 4
Switchbacks FC 2 0 2
COS – Hadji Barry (Sebastian Anderson), 5’
ELP – Ricardo Zacarias (Nick Ross), 21’
COS – Deshane Beckford (Andre Lewis), 35’
ELP – Macca King (Nick Ross), 61’
ELP – Lucho Solignac (Eder Borelli), 86’
ELP – Diego Luna (Lucho Solignac), 97’
El Paso Locomotive FC (4-4-2): Logan Ketterer; Eder Borelli, Matt Bahner (Cole Turner, 45’), Macca King, Ricardo Zacarias, Nick Ross, Chapa Herrera (Dylan Mares, 55’), Jose Aguinaga, Diego Luna (Lucho Solignac, 97’) Aaron Gomez, Leandro Carrijo
Subs not used: Ben Beaury, Brooklyn Raines, Jimmy Villagomez, Joel Maldonado
Switchbacks FC (3-1-4-2): Sean Melvin; Matthew Mahoney, Michael Edwards, Tristan Hodge (Jimmy Ockford, 62’), Sebastian Anderson (Matthew Hundley, 88’), Rony Argueta, Andre Lewis, Deshane Beckford (Dillon Serna, 88’), Steven Echeverria, Hadji Barry, Dantouma Toure (Darren Yapi, 81’)
Subs not used: Beverly Makangila, Abraham Rodriguez, Jose Torres
Stats Summary: ELP | COS
Shots: 18 | 8
Shots on Goal: 11 | 4
Saves: 1 | 7
Corner Kicks: 5 | 3
Fouls: 12 | 23
Offside: 2 | 3
COS – Hadji Barry (Caution), 26’
COS – Rony Argueta (Caution), 28’
ELP – Chapa Herrera (Caution), 33’
COS – Michael Edwards (Caution), 51’
COS – Tristan Hodge, (Caution), 60’
ELP – Eder Borelli (Caution), 66’
ELP – Aaron Gomez (Caution), 90’
COS – Jimmy Ockford (Caution), 95’
ELP – Diego Luna (Caution), 97’