Utica, NY - Following a season sweep of the Harrisburg Heat last weekend, Utica City FC started the first of a back-to-back series against the St. Louis Ambush. In a game that carried huge postseason seeding implications, UCFC ran away with an 11-6 victory to kick off the final two home games of the season.

The game started off on the wrong foot for Utica, as in under three minutes St. Louis found a lead through Triston Austin. UCFC responded one minute later, tying things up with Logan Roberts tapping home a Franck Tayou shot. With the score 1-1, Ambush goalkeeper Jose Ogaz made a few big saves to deny the home side. However, Tayou found a way past Ogaz on the rebound at the 10:35 mark, pushing the lead to 2-1 in favor of Utica. UCFC would hold on to that scoreline all the way until the horn sounded for the end of the first quarter. 

The second quarter was a change of pace, as Utica fired goals into the back of the net at will. Four and a half minutes in, Dylan Hundelt got the scoring started for the home side, before Cole Stephens added another goal for Utica. With the score sitting 4-1 at the 10 minute mark, the floodgates had opened for UCFC. Moh Ndiaye scored two quick goals for Utica before Ronaldinho Diniz finished off a great team move to make the score 7-1. Andrew Coughlin was called for handling the ball outside of the box, and St. Louis was presented with a shootout opportunity with Brian Wilkin headed into the Utica net. James Thomas sent the shootout attempt high, but on the ensuing power play Will Eskay found a bouncing ball in the final few seconds of the quarter. He turned and fired past Wilkin in net, making the score 7-2 at halftime. 

The second half started quickly for St. Louis, just like the beginning of the game. After Nilton De Andrade was called for boarding, the Ambush only needed 55 seconds in the third quarter to find Richard Schmermund to score. UCFC responded again, this time with Tayou scoring at the 3:31 mark in the third to make the score 8-3. Hundelt added his second goal of the night shortly after, before John A. Eskay fired a laser into the top corner to get a goal back for the Ambush. At the end of the third quarter the score sat 9-4 in favor of UCFC. 

The fourth quarter saw both teams settle down and play more defensive soccer. Geo Alves found the first goal of the fourth at the 6 minute mark, with Skylar Funk responding two minutes later for a 10-5 scoreline. That score would hold until the final minute, when De Andrade rifled a shot that hit the crossbar and found the back of the net for a final score of 11-5 Utica.

Utica closes out the home slate tomorrow against St. Louis before a final regular season game away at Baltimore next weekend. The match tomorrow begins at 3:05 pm EST–tickets for the matchup are available at uticacityfc.com/tickets.