Milwaukee, WI - Nineteen days after Utica and Milwaukee played to a 6-5 thriller in the Adirondack Bank Center, the UCFC squad traveled to southeast Wisconsin to face off against the Wave. In a series that has been evenly matched in recent history, Milwaukee leveraged a 3-goal third quarter to earn a hard-fought 6-3 victory. 

There was early pressure for Utica, but Milwaukee goalkeeper William Banahene made two stops to deny Steven Fernandez. Not to be outdone, Utica netminder Andrew Coughlin made a stunning save to deny Alex Sanchez. It took until the 9:50 mark in the first for a breakthrough, with the Wave’s Marcio Leite finding the back of the net for a 1-0 Milwaukee lead. The home side doubled the lead through Max Ferdinand, and Milwaukee took a 2-goal lead into the second quarter. Again, the defenses stood out, as it took Utica almost 7 minutes into the second to find a goal. Geo Alves rolled a free kick into the path of Rafa Godoi, who launched the ball past Banahene to cut the Milwaukee lead in half. The teams would head into halftime with Utica trailing, 2-1.

The second half did not start well for UCFC, as Nelson Santana headed a ball back to Couglin that looped over the goalkeeper’s outstretched hands. Max Ferdinand took credit for the Milwaukee tally, pushing the score to 3-1. The Wave cashed in on another Utica mistake with former UCFC player Cesar Correa scoring to make the score 4-1. The home side continued to apply pressure, and at the 10:56 mark Liete flew down the left wing before squaring a ball to Ricardo Carvalho for an easy tap-in. That goal would be the last of the third, with the score sitting 5-1 in favor of Milwaukee. 

It was a long road back for UCFC, and the Milwaukee defense proved a tough task to beat. The first goal of the quarter was scored by Gordy Gurson, assisted by Santana to make it a 3 goal game with 7 minutes left on the clock. The Wave went to the power play with 11:04 elapsed in the fourth, and Leite scored for the home team. UCFC found a final consolation through Gurson, as the game ended with a final score of 6-3 in favor of Milwaukee. 

Utica City FC continues the away stretch with a Sunday afternoon match against the Kansas City Comets, with kickoff on the 10th at 5:05 pm EST. UCFC returns home on Sunday, March 17th against Harrisburg–tickets for the matchup are available at uticacityfc.com/tickets.

Article written by Arnav Pokhrel.