OFFENSIVE ONSLAUGHT POWERS UTICA CITY FC TO 12-6 WIN VS. HARRISBURG
Harrisburg, PA - Utica City FC took an away trip to Harrisburg to continue the MASL season with a 2-game weekend series against the Heat. In the series opener, Utica took the victory by a score of 12-6.
Throughout the season, Utica has always been on the front foot in games. The trend continued today with UCFC getting on the board early, scoring two goals in the first five minutes. One came from Cole Stephens and another from Logan Roberts and UCFC found themselves up 2-0 with 10 and a half minutes still left in the first quarter. One minute later, Harrisburg’s Malcolm Harris drove a free kick past an unsuspecting Andrew Coughlin to cut the lead in half.
The Heat would tie it up right after with Roshawn Panton tapping home off of the pass from Brad Kerstetter. Harrisburg would take a 3-2 lead on another free kick goal at the 9:35 mark with Coughlin coming out to play the ball and Dominic Francis slotting it home. Nilton De Andrade would tie things up for UCFC, sliding the ball past Grant Glorioso in the Harrisburg net. Coughlin would make a clutch one-on-one save in the closing minutes of the period, keeping the score tied heading into the second quarter.
It took more than five minutes before a ball found the back of the net in the second quarter. Steven Fernandez intercepted a pass before firing a shot at Glorioso where Stephens would tap home a rebound to make it 4-3. Then, the floodgates opened for the UCFC offense. Nine and a half minutes into the frame, Taylor Walter Bond touched home off of a free kick assist from Mohamed Ndiaye. Moments later, Ndiaye would get a goal himself with a rocket into the bottom corner. The scoring wasn’t done for the city, as Stephens would find a ball off of the boards and tap home for a first half hat-trick and a 7-3 lead for UCFC.
Utica continued the pressure after the halftime break. Just 56 seconds into the third quarter, Keaton Woods took a pass from De Andrade and turned the ball home for 8-3. The Heat would respond with a goal 5 minutes later, with Joey Tavernese playing a pass off of the boards for Harris to slam into the net. Harrisburg continued to chip away, as at the 12:24 mark Jackson Becher tacked another one on for the Heat to make it 8-5, which would be the score at the end of the third.
Two minutes into the fourth, Geo Alves would get on the scoresheet by launching a volley after a Dylan Hundelt chip forward. Utica would hit double digits soon after, with Ronaldinho Diniz getting his first goal of the game to make the score 10-5. With 5 minutes left in the match, Harrisburg would get another goal back with a powerful shot from Maxi Schenfeld. City would ice the game with a couple of empty netters in the final moments, with Hundelt rolling one in the back of the net with the outside of his foot and Juan Alava also putting one into an uncontested goal. UCFC walked away with a comfortable 12-6 victory.
UCFC looks to sweep the series against Harrisburg tomorrow with kickoff against the Heat at 5:05 PM. Utica returns to the Adirondack Bank Center on Friday, December 22nd–tickets for that match are still available at uticacityfc.com/tickets.