Real Monarchs dropped badly to Colorado Springs Switchbacks on Friday night in a match marked as much by defensive mistakes as it was by a halftime blizzard.
In the 12th minute, Switchbacks' Miguel Gonzalez scored after some poor defending from Real Monarchs.
Etiandro Tavares leveled the score at 1-1 in the 17th minute with a splitting run past the defense. His finish was a simple one past onrushing Switchbacks goalkeeper Devela Gorrick.
But it wasn't long until Switchbacks earned a penalty — the 24th minute — when Gonzalez went down after being clipped by Darion Copeland, who was starting his first match for the Monarchs. Vercollone finished well to the right side of Real Monarchs' goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez's net.
In the 42nd minute, Saeed Robinson put Switchbacks up 3-1 with a finish on the counter that caught Lalo Fernandez and the center backs out. Only minutes later, he nearly had another on a breakaway, but Boyd Okwuonu was able to get back in defense and tackled the ball out for a corner.
The second half started in somewhat outrageous fashion, with a blizzard cropping up in Colorado Springs. Midway through the second half, the match was stopped to allow the grounds crew to clear the now snowed-over lines.
With the snow clearing up, Max Rauhofer found the back of the net with a headed ball from a cross in the 83rd minute. Switchbacks regained their two-goal lead in the 88th minute, and in the 90th minute, another defensive mistake cost Monarchs.
With Darion Copeland making a crucial mistake at center back, Lalo Fernandez was forced into a clawing grasp at the ball that led to a penalty. Switchbacks took a 5-2 lead, with Vercollone finishing neatly.