For a third-year franchise, making the field at the prestigious U.S. Open Cup is a big step forward.
Not content to simply dip its toe in the Open Cup waters, Tormenta FC dove right in, erasing a second half deficit to notch a 2-1 win on the road against the Myrtle Beach Mutiny in the first round of tournament play.
"It really hasn't sunk in yet," Tormenta coach John Miglarese said. "This was a great game and a big win for us. "
Tormenta and the Mutiny played a nip-and-tuck first half and headed into the locker room at 0-0.
Myrtle Beach came out with some aggression in the second half and drew first blood when it took advantage of a small lapse in the Tormenta back line. Rooby Delusma found the net for a 1-0 lead in the 56th minute.
"For whatever reason, we like to spot a goal to these guys," Miglarese said. "They scored first in both matches last year and we came back to tie. We were able to do a little more tonight against another very, very good Myrtle Beach team."
In the 76th minute, Tormenta finally drew even as Jad Arslan — a mainstay in the lineup since the franchise's birth in 2016 — came through after several close calls earlier in the match.
Speaking of close calls and near misses, the game-winner came as a bit of sweet redemption.
On a free kick late in the first half, Toni Soler beat the Mutiny keeper, but caught too much of the crossbar. The ball deflected straight down and somehow stayed out of the goal.
In the 82nd minute, Soler got another chance and delivered as his free kick from 25 yards out deflected off of a defender and into the side of the Myrtle Beach net.
"We found out a lot about ourselves tonight," Miglarese said. "We've got some guys who are willing to fight. When we went down, no one let up. We kept grinding away and we were there to make big plays at the end when we needed them."
Tormenta now prepares for a Saturday evening trip to the Atlanta suburbs for a date with Peachtree City MOBA to open up its PDL season.
Depth will be key as Wednesday's win adds at least one more game to the schedule.
Next Wednesday, Tormenta will head back into the Palmetto State as they take on the Charleston Battery at 7:00 p.m. in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.