CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In their 11 years in the Premier Development League, the West Virginia Chaos had never been in the position they have found themselves in this season.
After winning three games in a row, the Chaos found themselves on top of the PDL's South Atlantic Division standings with a 4-2-1 record.
Enjoying their best season ever, the Chaos hoped to do something Tuesday night they had never done before in beating the Carolina Dynamo.
It looked as though the Chaos would accomplish the feat for the first time, leading the Dynamo deep into the second half, but two late Carolina goals gave the Dynamo a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Schoenbaum Stadium inside Coonskin Park.
The Chaos seemed to run out of gas after facing a brutal schedule of late, while Carolina was the fresher team having not played since May 21.
"The club officials made a tough schedule for us," said Chaos Coach Predrag Ivanovic, who also serves as a midfielder for the team. "We had three games in five days and a trip to South Carolina. That's way too much at this level. We had two tough games this weekend on Friday and Saturday and got back late on Sunday night.
"Yesterday we rested from the trip. To come out and have to play a game like this against a top team in the league, it's really tough. Their game was canceled because of a storm. They were fresh. They didn't play for two weeks. You could see the difference in the last 15 minutes."
After a scoreless first half, the Chaos put the first points on the board on a goal from James Pucci off an assist from Ivanovic in the 67th minute.
The lead held up and it looked as though the Chaos may finally defeat the Dynamo for the first time, but Carolina Coach Marc Nicholls went to the bench and it paid dividends.
Substitute Mamadee Nyepon scored the equalizer in the 76th minute, and just four minutes later, another reserve, James Smith, gave the Dynamo the game-winner in the 80th minute. On the game, Carolina made six substitutes to just one for the Chaos.
Nicholls believed the fresh legs made all the difference in the game.
"We have a good squad and have players that can impact the game," Nicholls said. "It gave us fresh legs and different kinds of players. The three subs all had a major part in the goals. It was great impact, which is their job."
Ivanovic and the Chaos were really hoping to make history with a victory over the Dynamo, but still are excited with where the team is at, remaining in first place in the league even in defeat.
"We had never beat them before and I told the guys we could make history," Ivanovic said. "It would have been amazing. We thought we were the better team. It's tough to lose this way but this is a special group and I think we can win our next four games and keep on top of the league."