UTICA CITY FC BATTLES BALTIMORE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT GAME
Utica City FC heads to Baltimore for the second of a home and home series with the Blast. Utica won the previous matchup 5-2 at the Adirondack Bank Center. Lucio Gonzaga scored twice and Utica’s defense stifled the Blast. Utica went up 1-0 early when a shot from Gonzaga was deflected by a Baltimore defender and into the net. Slav Ubiparipovic hooked up with Andre Braithwaite for a beautiful give-and-go play for Ubiparipovic’s third goal of the year.
Baltimore got on the board with a bicycle kick goal from Adriano Dos Santos at the 8:30 mark of the third quarter. Seconds later, Josh Hughes tied the game at two after a Utica turnover at midfield. Darren Toby put Utica back on top with a header five minutes later. Joey Tavernese’s power play strike doubled the lead with 1:55 to go in the third quarter. Utica’s defense shut down the Blast in the final quarter and Gonzaga sealed the game with empty net goal with 1:07 to play.
Baltimore has not been defeated on home turf during the regular season since February 19, 2017 when they lost 7-2 to the Syracuse Silver Knights. The Blast defeated the Mississauga MetroStars 11-3 last Saturday at home. A week at home to train and fresh legs will be key for Utica’s offense as they look to continue their early success. Utica will return to the Adirondack Bank Center on Sunday afternoon to take on the Florida Tropics. Kickoff is at 2pm.