UTICA CITY FALLS TO BALTIMORE
Baltimore, MD- Solid goaltending, a stifling defense, missed powerplay opportunities, and plenty of bars was the storyline as Utica FC fell to the Baltimore Blast 7-2. Lucas Roque was the top performer, sparking the Blast with his 3-point (2 goals, 1 assist) performance. Andrew Coughlin had a solid performance in goal for Utica FC with 11 saves to give Utica a fighting chance. Christian Segura and Quenton Swift were the goal scorers for Utica City.
The 1st quarter saw plenty of early action. After a spectacular defensive goal line play by Utica City to keep the score level, miscommunication in front of the net led to a turnover an easy goal as Lucas Roque buried one to put Baltimore up 1-0 at 5:49. The Blast poured on the pressure for the rest of the quarter but Utica was able to withstand the charge and keep it a one goal game.
Baltimore came right out the gate in the second with the same pressure from the first and after a great lead pass from Ibrahima Keita, Adriano Dos Santos made it 2-0 Blast with a quick strike 1:50 into the frame. Shortly after, on a set piece, Jonatas Melo fed Mike Deasel on a backdoor feed to extend the Blast's lead to 3-0. Utica FC had a great opportunity to bring the game to within 2 when Nate Bourdeau was tripped down, setting up a shootout attempt by Lucio Gonzaga. Gonzaga's attempt was stopped and Utica FC was unable to capitalize on the ensuing powerplay and nearly went down 4-0 with ten seconds left in the half but was saved by the post.
Baltimore again came out running thanks to a spectacular save early on by Drew Coughlin. Shortly after Christian Segura used a couple head fakes and torched a laser at 2:37 to cut the lead to 3-1. After continuous back and forth action the Blast made it 4-1 with a tough angle shot by Lucas Roque from Tony Donatelli after a deflection off the wall. Soon after it was a 5-1 game with a goal-line rocket by Ibrahima Keita, set up by Lucas Roque. Utica City had a late powerplay chance to bring the game back within 3, but hit a crossbar to slow down their comeback path.
Andrew Coughlin continued to give Utica FC a fighting chance in the 4th. Baltimore had a 3 on 1 opportunity and Coughlin came up with the timely stop with 9:45 remaining. His effort was rewarded when Quinton Swift buried a rebound at 8:24 after a beautiful feed from Lucio Gonzaga. Coughlin again made a huge save on a 2 on 1 with 4:35 left before the game was put out of reach. Coughlin was attempting to join the rush when the ball was stolen by, Tony Donatelli scoring a long ball at 11:02 on the vacant net. Utica FC again tried to bring on the extra attacker but Juan Pereira capped off the scoring for the Blast with a feed from Tony Donatelli at 11:55.
Utica City falls to 2-10 in the loss and will play again on Saturday, February 12th against the St. Louis Ambush.