In its first four games in franchise history, Tormenta FC didn't record a single goal.
To make things worse, a two-game road trip to North Carolina began on Thursday with a visit to the Charlotte Eagles — the No. 2-ranked team in the Premier Development League that has been nearly unbeatable for two years.
Naturally, Tormenta walked away with a 2-0 win.
"There was no 180 (turnaround) from the last game," Tormenta coach Ben Freakley said. "We believed that we would win our last game. The fact that we lost didn't mean that we weren't confident that we'd win this one.
"We believed we could win. We played well, and we won."
Despite coming away with just one draw in its first four matches, there was little doubt that Tormenta was crowing and improving with each game. After a pair of games that saw Tormenta fall 1-0 due to conceding late goals, they weren't about to let history repeat itself.
In the eighth minute, Tormenta gained possession and rushed deep into Charlotte's territory. Sam Lofts drove in a dangerous cross that was mishandled by the Eagles, leading to an own goal.
Tormenta held the lead into halftime and doubled its advantage in the early minutes of the second hand when Reed Norton and Jad Arslan combined to feed Lofts for another goal.
After seeming to be snakebit for a few games in terms of finding the net, Tormenta knew that goals would eventually come. The real test was keeping a talented Charlotte side from doing the same.
"We had everyone on the field defending," Freakley said. "No matter if you're scoring or not, you aren't going to win if everyone doesn't buy in to playing great defense. That's what we saw tonight."
With a win now under its belt, Tormenta now braces for a new challenge. For the first time this season, Tormenta will play two games in a week as the team travels to Greensboro, N.C. to take on Carolina Dynamo on Saturday.
Saturday's game will also be unique in that it will be the first instance of Tormenta getting a second look at a division rival. In late May, the Dynamo ruined Tormenta's inaugural home game by handing them a 3-0 defeat.
"This is a different team than the last time we played the Dynamo," Freakley said. "We've improved. We started this road trip with the goal of getting six points. We've got three, and now we have more work to do."