FC Tucson Loses To Ventura County 0-2; Still Remain In Second Place In PDL SW Division
Tucson, AZ (Saturday, June 30, 2012) — FC Tucson was already facing a challenge when first-place Ventura County came to Tucson. But in its 2-0 loss, the team faced a second opponent: themselves.
“Right now we’re our own worst enemy,” said FC Tucson Head Coach Rick Schantz. “We’re making mistakes and that’s what a good team does: they punish you when you make mistakes.”
In the 34th minute, Ventura County’s Frankie Lopez chipped in a ball from right to left into the box. Fusion defender Mickey Daly streaked down the left side of the box unmarked, and after the ball bounced twice, Daly struck it into the back of the net before it landed a third time.
Daly reveled in the sudden quietness of the home crowd and even Tebowed in front of the booing masses.
Ventura County seemed to take control of the game from there, finishing the first half strong and with a 1-0 lead. But FC Tucson went back on the attack in the second half and very nearly equalized the game.
In the 65th minute Max Alvarez sent in a perfect cross right in front of the goalmouth. Conor Spence was there for what looked like a sure goal, but his header sailed up and over the crossbar. The opportunity to change the momentum of the game had come and gone.
“This has been our problem all season long,” Schantz said. “When we get chances we’re not putting them away at a high enough percentage rate”
The missed header would be FC Tucson’s last serious scoring opportunity. The Fusion tightened up their play and dominated possession, constantly putting the FC Tucson defense back on its heels. Ventura County finally broke through in the 75th minute when Chris Tsonis’ header beat the diving Brendan Roslund.
“They came out with a little chip on their shoulder and you could tell that they were looking for a little revenge for what we did to them at their place,” Dom Papa said. “It’s one of those games that if we don’t finish our chances early, we’re going to be down.”
The loss is FC Tucson’s first at home this season, ending a 10-game unbeaten streak that had stretched back to May 5. The team remains in second place behind Ventura County with 24 points. The Fusion extend their first-place lead and now sit comfortably at the top of the table with 32 points.
“This is not the end of the world,” Papa said. “It’s just a lost game. We dropped three points here but it doesn’t mean we can’t make it up in another place.”
’34: Ventura County-Mickey Daly
’77: Ventura County-Chris Tsonis
’19: Ventura County-Rodrigo Lopez (Yellow)
’57: Ventura County-Ivan Mirkovic (Yellow)
’89: Ventura County-Chris Tsonis (Yellow)
’89: FC Tucson-Donny Toia (Yellow)
GK Brendan Roslund
M Reid Schmitt
D Conor Spence
M Nick Marshall
F Donny Toia
F Max Alvarez
D Mike Kraus
M Dom Papa
M Aaron Long
M Eli Galbraith-Knapp
M James Cohn
Ventura County Fusion
GK Eric Smannon
D Mickey Daly
D Korey Kindle
D Peter McGlynn
D Chris Widdy
M James Kiffe
M Frankie Lopez
M Rodrigo Lopez
M Ivan Mirkovic
M Gyasi Zardes
F Travis Bowen