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Energy FC beats Colorado Springs and the weather, but just barely

Omar Gordon (middle) celebrates with Energy FC teammates after scoring his fourth goal of the season Saturday night in a 1-0 victory over Colorado Springs. [PHOTO PROVIDED]
Omar Gordon (middle) celebrates with Energy FC teammates after scoring his fourth goal of the season Saturday night in a 1-0 victory over Colorado Springs. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

Energy FC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi has been in Oklahoma City long enough to become accustomed to seeing lightning in the sky.

Some of his teammates who are playing their first season in Oklahoma City, however, are more nervous about the state’s severe spring weather.

“I think they are still getting used to it,” said Laurendi, who has been with Energy FC since 2016. “We got a couple of West Coast guys who I don’t think knew what rain was before they came here.”

Energy FC barely beat Colorado Springs and the weather Saturday night at Taft Stadium. A first-half goal by Omar Gordon off an Alexy Bosetti assist stood up as Energy FC defeated the Switchbacks, 1-0.

“Fantastic goal,” Energy FC head coach Steve Cooke said. “It was a great pass by Alexy Bosetti… Really top-class passing and a top-class finish by Omar.”

Lightning lit up the sky in the second half at the 65th minute, and Energy FC hoped the storm would stay away at least another five minutes for it to be an official game without having to be replayed in full.

"I was thinking the referee was going to call it," Laurendi said.

Not only did the match reach the 70th minute to make it official, the game continued until the 90th and final minute when the sky lit up again as if on cue. Still, officials allowed three more minutes of play in stoppage time before Energy FC weathered the storm and earned three more points in the Western Conference standings.

Gordon said he also was expecting a weather delay, “but at the end of the day it wasn’t that bad that they had to call the game. That was good.”

The severe weather did arrive about 90 minutes later as a tornado touched down not far from Taft Stadium. All of the players and fans had left Taft Stadium when the storm passed through, but several Energy FC employees had to seek shelter in the stadium.

During the game, some fans scurried out of Taft Stadium with the first sign of lightning, but it was not a distraction for the players on the field, Laurendi said.

“We kind of zero in on the task in front of us,” he said.

Cooke said Colorado Springs was more troublesome for Oklahoma City than the weather.

“Colorado Springs has got a lot of experienced players on their team,” Cooke said. “For sure, they make like difficult for you. We got on top of the game. We got the first goal and I think we are just a moment away from killing the game with that second or third goal.

“I think we got to be a bit more ruthless when we have teams on the (run) like that, especially in the first half. We got to be able to find a way to get that second goal and keep momentum going.”

Thankfully for Energy FC, the game didn’t play out like last week's match at Taft Stadium when Oklahoma City was clinging to a 1-0 lead for almost the entire game before Real Monarchs scored late in stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw.

“We kept them in it again,” Cooke said. “I am pleased we saw the game out and did a good, professional job of that and came away with three points. That’s the good news.

“The disappointment tonight is we didn’t put them away earlier. The great news tonight is we showed we are resilient, organized and I thought we were in control of the game.”

Energy FC will host the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at John Crain Field in Norman in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›