Harrisburg, PA - Utica City FC wrapped up a two game weekend with their second matchup against the Harrisburg Heat. After a Utica victory the previous evening, UCFC won the second leg by a score of 11-8 to sweep the weekend series.

Utica picked up right where it left off last night, scoring just 1:49 into the game with Keaton Woods finding the back of the net from a Mohamed Ndiaye corner kick. Ndiaye would get credit for a goal just a couple of minutes after the opener, deflecting a free kick off the heels of a Heat defender and scoring to make it 2-0. Ronaldinho Diniz found a clever pass from Taylor Walter Bond to score the third goal for UCFC within the first 5 minutes of the game. Harrisburg would claw one back midway through the first as Danny DiPrima picked up a Joey Tavernese pass from the board and finished to make the score 3-1. Ten minutes into the first, it would be a reversal of the last Utica goal with Bond finishing a pass from Ronaldinho for another Utica goal. Tavernese found another response for the Heat, blasting a bouncing ball into the net. Harrisburg got a quick double as Tavernese hit a shot that rebounded right into the path of Roshawn Panton. The first quarter would hold at that scoreline, with UCFC leading by 1, 4-3.

Things slowed down in the second period between the two sides. Five minutes in, Dominic Francis found a strike to tie things up at 4. Both defenses stepped up as it was five minutes from the Francis goal until the next goal was scored. Ronaldinho gave Utica City the lead again after firing a ball off of the board that ricocheted off of a Heat player before finding a home in the back of the net. Utica would light up the scoreboard again with Geo Alves using his thigh to score from the Logan Roberts cross to make it 6-4, which would be the score heading into halftime.  

Right after the restart, UCFC continued to pile on the pressure. Thirty-five seconds into the third, Ronaldinho would complete his hat trick after taking advantage of a rebound off of Franck Tayou’s shot. Woods continued the offense with a top-corner laser of his own to make the score 8-4. Harrisburg was not out of it just yet–the Heat found a goal off of the head of Joshua Dimatteo to cut the Utica lead to three at the 6:12 mark in the third. UCFC got the four-goal lead back with another Ronaldinho goal–his fourth of the match! In the closing seconds of the period, Tavernese picked up loose change in the box and found Derek Ramirez to cash in and the third quarter ended with UCFC on top, 9-6. 

Harrisburg brought out the 6th attacker at the beginning of the fourth quarter, leaving the net empty in hope of continuing the comeback. After 8 minutes of stout defending, UCFC took advantage of the empty net to get into double digits, with Woods scoring his third of the night. However, the extra attacker would push Harrisburg back into it, as Tavernese tapped one home to make it 10-7. Then, in an interesting turn of events, Utica would join Harrisburg by removing goalie Andrew Coughlin and going to 6 attackers themselves for short moments. Dylan Hundelt would grab another empty netter to make it 11-7. Harrisburg made the scoreline more respectable with a DiPrima goal in the closing seconds to make the final score 11-8.

Utica returns to the Adirondack Bank Center on Friday, December 22nd to take on the Baltimore Blast. Tickets for that match are still available at uticacityfc.com/tickets.