GURSON'S OT WINNER IGNITES PANDEMONIUM IN UTICA
Utica, NY - Utica City FC held their first of back-to-back home games Saturday night. They hosted the Mesquite Outlaws for the second game ever between the two teams. In front of another stellar crowd, the two teams went back and forth with Mesquite all night. It needed overtime to decide a winner Gordy Gurson was the hero just 14 seconds into the extra frame, and Utica City fans erupted in the Adirondack Bank Center.
To start the game, it was all Mesquite. The Outlaws jumped out to a 2-0 lead. First it was a fast break goal by Sebastian Mendez. Just a few minutes later, Luis Morales made it 2-0 off a free kick. Utica City would answer though.
Gordy Gurson scored off an assist from the end wall by Stephen Fernandez. After a Mesquite answer by Axel Chakounte, the city really came alive. Rafa Godoi ripped a shot from the yellow line that hit a few bodies in front and ended up in the back of the net to make it 3-2. With two minutes left in the quarter, the captains combined to tie the game.
Nate Bourdeau fed a ball to veteran Bo Jelovac who rifled it past mesquite keeper Eduardo Cortes to knot things up at three.
Utica City took their first lead of the night on a perfect play. Gurson fed Joey Tavernese on the back post. He had a wide open tap in goal and made it 4-3 Utica City. Luis Morales tied it for Mesquite at 2:32 of the second on an off angle shot to the top corner.
One minute later, Utica City’s Cristhian Segura fired a rocket to the top corner of the net and made it a 5-4 game. He lept onto the boards in front of the Miller Lite Biergarten in celebration. Mesquite again would tie the game thirty seconds later. It was Luiz Morales who beat Utica City keeper Andrew Coughlin to tie the game at five.
UCFC has been putting in extra time on their powerplay over the last few weeks, and it continues to pay off. A beautiful passing play led to Jelovac finding Tavernese on back door for another tap in. Utica City led 6-5 at the break.
The third would feature goals for both sides. First, Mesquite tied it for 4th time in the game thanks to Luis Morales. But 25 seconds later, Rafa Godoi gave UCFC yet another lead. Couglin made a save in the defensive zone, and started a quick transition. Nilton Andrade beat a defender with a quick move and made a pass to the left post for Godoi to finish. It was 7-6 in favor of the home team at the end of three.
UCFC found some insurance in the 4th. Once again it was Coughlin who fed the ball up field and created a fast break. Gordy Gurson had a chance from outside the yellow line and caught the Mesquite keeper on his heels. Utica City led 8-6 with seven minutes remaining thanks to Coughlin’s assist. The Outlaws scored back to back late. Morales and Mendez scored three minutes apart to tie it at 8 and send the game into overtime.
Fourteen seconds into overtime, Gurson was the hero for Utica City. Right off the kickoff he darted down the left wing, and ripped one under the crossbar that sent the Utica City faithful to their feet. Pandemonium ignited at the Adirondack Bank Center, and UCFC was victorious.
Utica City moves to 3-4 with the win. They play again at home tomorrow for UCFC’s annual Kids Day. Pregame festivities include face painting, a scavenger hunt, and much more! After the game stick around for an inflatable obstacle course, on field games and autographs with players. Limited tickets are still available at uticacityfc.com/tickets.