UTICA DROPS ROAD CONTEST TO HARRISBURG
Harrisburg, PA – Utica City dropped a midweek affair to the Harrisburg Heat 5-3 on Wednesday night at the PA Farm Show Arena. Momo, Moises Gonzalez, and Darren Toby were the goal scorers for Utica. Matt Perrella got the start in net, making 14 saves on 18 shots.
Perrella answered the bell early in the first quarter with a huge double save against his former team. After a City turnover, he stopped William Eskay with a diving save before Perrella kicked out his right foot to prevent Danny DiPrima's rebound attempt. Utica tallied the first goal of the game when Momo registered his 13th of the year. Nate Bourdeau made a wonderful play to evade the Heat defense before setting up Momo.
Jake Schindler and Gonzalez combined to double the City lead early in the second quarter. Schindler reacted first after a Harrisburg foul. The defender spotted Gonzalez unmarked in the attacking end, and a quick pass set the forward up for this 23rd of the year. Late in the second quarter, Nelson Santana pounced on a loose ball to cut Utica's lead in half.
Matt Perrella stared in the first half stopping nine shots in the opening half.
A cagey third quarter ended with Harrisburg taking their first lead of the game late in the stanza. Patrick Thompson's shot was deflected past Perrella by Ty Hall to give Harrisburg a 3-2 lead. The Heat scored four minutes into the fourth quarter after a miscommunication between Perrella and Onua Obasi. Tavoy Morgan scored to double Harrisburg's advantage.
Toby kick-started a late rally with his second goal of the season. Utica was awarded a shootout after a handball in the penalty area. Gonzalez's shot caromed off the underside of the crossbar, but Toby was quickest to the rebound to cut the deficit in half.
With the sixth attacker on, City was unable to find the game-tying goal in the closing moments of the final quarter. Heat goalkeeper William Banahene hurled the ball into the empty net as the final seconds ticked away.
Utica returns home to host the Dallas Sidekicks Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available at the Box Office, over the phone by calling (315) 790-9070, or online at www.empirestatetix.com. The game can be viewed on MASL.tv.
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