For the first time ever, FC Tucson's players and staff walked off Kino Sports Complex North Field No. 5 in defeat.
After picking up five wins and a draw on its new field, Tucson's semipro soccer club suffered its first loss - 2-0 to division leader Ventura County Fusion - on Saturday night.
It was FC Tucson's first loss, home or away, since May 5 when it fell 2-1 at Fresno in the first match of the season. Its unbeaten streak ended at 11 matches overall and 10 league games.
"It can't last forever," FC Tucson coach Rick Schantz said.
The shutout was especially hard to digest because it also severely hurt FC Tucson's chances of winning the division.
FC Tucson remains in second place despite the loss, but fell eight points behind Ventura County with four matches to play in the USL Premier Development League's Southwest Division. FC Tucson will host Municipio de Juarez on Tuesday in a nonleague match and then return to league action Friday at home against BYU.
Maybe the men in black should have known it was going to be a tough night when defender Kareem Smith wasn't in the lineup. The Trinidadian international, who had played every minute of every league match before Saturday, was out with a slightly strained quad.
He said he expects to be back next week.
But that was little solace Saturday night when FC Tucson had a rare bad patch at the back this season.
FC Tucson put pressure on for the first 20 minutes, playing the ball mainly down the left side or up and over the middle to Donny Toia.
But Ventura County took control for the final 25 minutes of the first half, creating numerous opportunities. The Fusion outshot FC Tucson 8-4 in the first 45 minutes.
One of those eight shots was able to find the back of the net and give Ventura County a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute.
Rodrigo Lopez's ball into the box skipped past the Tucson defense and Fusion fullback Mickey Daly caught up with it before sending a ball back across the mouth of the goal and into the bottom corner.
"We had said, as a coaching staff early, that the first goal was going to be important," Schantz said.
In the second half, FC Tucson put pressure on but couldn't come up with the equalizer, including a tantalizing cross from substitute Carlos Montes in the 66th minute that was headed over the bar from close range.
Eleven minutes later, Ventura County added a second goal on a header by Chris Tsonis to make the comeback too much to handle for FC Tucson.
But, according to defender Dom Papa, FC Tucson isn't about to focus on grabbing the final playoff spot with a second-place finish.
"No, not a chance," Papa said. "We're going to try and go out there and get three points from each match. This is not the end of the world.
"It's just a lost game, we dropped three points here. It doesn't mean we can't pick them up in another place."
• What: Municipio de Juarez at FC Tucson
• Where: Kino Sports Complex, North Field No. 5
• When: 7 p.m. Tuesday