UTICA BATTLES ROCHESTER IN BLACK FRIDAY SHOWDOWN
Tonight’s Game: Utica City battles the Rochester Lancers for the first time this season in a Black Friday showdown. Kickoff is at 7:05 p.m.
Last Game: Utica City jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back as they cruised to a 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Blast Sunday afternoon at the Adirondack Bank Center. Cristhian Segura scored twice, while Liam Callahan and Ricardo Diegues chipped in with one goal each. Andrew Coughlin made seven saves on nine shots to earn the win.
Head to Head: This is the first meeting between Utica and Rochester this season. The last time the two franchises squared off was on February 22, 2015.
Scouting the Lancers: This is the season opener for the Lancers and their first time back in the MASL since the 2014-15 season. The squad is highlighted by Gary Boughton and Jeremy Ortiz. Ortiz spent time with the Baltimore Blast in 2015-16, while Boughton has been with Rochester for over 100 games between the MASL and the M2.
En Fuego: Cristhian Segura’s time in Utica could not be off to a better start. Segura has five goals in two games, scoring on all five shots he’s taken this season. Segura scored six goals in 15 matches last season.
Welcome to Utica: Ricardo Diegues wasted no time acquainting himself to the Utica fans. Diegues suited up for his first game in Utica this past Sunday and scored a crucial insurance goal in the third quarter to help secure the win. The forward recorded 28 points (24-4-28) in 19 games with the Florida Tropics last season.
Stacked: If you think Utica’s defensive core was good before, it just got even better. Utica announced the signing of defender Onua Obasi on Wednesday. Obasi is a veteran of 95 games in the USL but is also no stranger to the MASL. The defender played for the Baltimore Blast from 2014-2016, recording 31 points (18-13-31) in 37 career games. He was named to the MASL’s All-Rookie team in the 2014-15 season and earned MASL Honorable Mention in 2015-16.
Bouncing Back: Andrew Coughlin will look to build on his bounce-back performance Sunday afternoon. After giving up eight goals in the season opener, Coughlin locked it down, only surrendering two goals in Sunday’s win and coming up with a number of crucial saves. So far this year, the goalkeeper holds a record of 1-1, a 4.56 goals-against average, and a .724 save percentage.
Next Game: Utica City returns home to battle the Harrisburg Heat for the first time this season on December 8. Kickoff at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 3 p.m. Tickets are still available at the Box Office, over the phone by calling (315) 790-9070, or online at www.empirestatetix.com. Biergarten Bash with Barbie Blank tickets are also available. The game can be viewed on MASL.tv.