UTICA CITY COMES BACK IN 4TH TO AND WINS IN OVERTIME
St. Louis, MO – For the first time this season, Utica City FC met the St. Louis Ambush on Saturday night. Utica City led a fourth quarter comeback with goals from Lucio Gonzaga and Joey Tavernese to tie the game late. They would go on to win 8-7 in overtime with Cristhian Segura finding twine to end it.
The Ambush appeared to take an early 1-0 lead at 5:45 but the goal was waved off due to the goaltender being deemed to have possession to keep the game level. Shortly after Ben Ramin buried a dart to put Utica FC up 1-0 at 5:45. UCFC kept the party rolling with a quick strike by Andrew Hoxie to make it 2-0 at 6:37. Tony Walls had a golden opportunity to pull the game within one but his free kick went high over the bar. Utica City was given a powerplay gift when Utica FC players collided, leading to a penalty being called on Vadim Cojocov for Dangerous play. Vadim Cojocov almost had redemption after his penalty but a beautiful toe save by Andrew Coughlin that bounced off the bar kept Utica up by 2.
The Ambush nearly got on the board 50 seconds into the second with a glorious chance for Walls but was denied with a stellar save by Andrew Coughlin to keep Utica City up 2-0. Timely saves lead to timely goals as Utica FC took advantage of their powerplay opportunity soon after with a beautiful off the wall pass from Bo Jelovac to Joey Tavernese 2:24 into the second to extend their lead to 3-0. Robert Kristo finally got the Ambush on the board with a rebound goal after a Jeff Michaud shot but was immediately given a blue card after a scrum with goaltender Andrew Coughlin. After failing to capitalize Utica’s lead shrunk to 3-2 after an incredible turnaround shot by Mohamed Ndiaye after a feed from Will Nyaamsi with 5:58 left in the frame. Utica was able to regain a two-goal lead with 4:07 left after a gem of a pass by Ben Ramin off the high glass for an easy chip in for Juan Alava.
After an early bar The Ambush finally were able to get back in the game with 11:33 left with a strike from JT Thomas with Pepe Junqueira getting the assist. It didn’t take long for the Ambush to get the game level with a corner strike by Marcel Berry at 10:20 with Robert Kristo getting the helper. Utica to regained the lead after Joey Tavernese netted his second of the game after a dish from Hewerton Moreira. St. Louis scored three goals in a row from Thomas, Kristo and Ndiaye and took a 7-5 lead before the quarter ended.
Utica City got one to cut the lead to one in the 4th. Lucio Gonzaga tallied an unassisted goal at 12:31 and put the Ambush on their heels. Joey Tavernese would tie the game with 56 seconds left off a feed from Cristhian Segura.
Segura would play hero ball, and seal it for Utica City in overtime with rocket shot to win it.
Utica City moves to 3-10 with the win. They will play next on Wednesday, February 23rd at the Adirondack Bank Center. Tickets are available at uticacityfc.com/tickets.