UTICA RETURNS HOME TO FACE HARRISBURG
Today’s Game: Utica City returns home to take on the Harrisburg Heat. Kickoff at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 2 p.m.
Last Game: Utica City was unable to overcome an early 2-1 deficit as they fell 6-2 to the Baltimore Blast two weeks ago at SECU Arena. Lucio Gonzaga and Domenico Vitale scored for Utica. Andrew Coughlin made 13 saves in the loss.
Head To Head: This is the fifth meeting between Utica and Harrisburg this season. City leads the season series 3-1, but the Heat won the most recent matchup 7-4 back on January 25. Utica has outscored Harrisburg 29-23 through four games.
Scouting the Heat: Harrisburg comes in with a record of 6-10 and sits in third place in the Eastern Division. They most recently topped the Mississauga MetroStars 8-4 last night. Ricardo Carvalho leads the way offensively with 36 points, followed by Tavoy Morgan with 22 points. Matt Parrella is the leading goalkeeper with a record of 4-7, a 6.19 goals-against average, and a .646 save percentage.
Special Teams Mastery: Utica City’s special teams have been fantastic this season. City’s power play ranks fifth in the league at 48.1% and have scored at least one power play goal in three of their last five games. On the flip side, Utica’s penalty kill also ranks fifth in the league, killing off 63.6% of their penalties. Additionally, they have scored a league-best two shorthanded goals.
Spreading It Around: Utica City has gotten offense from all over the lineup this season. Utica has three players with 20 or more points, nine players with 10 or more, and all but one player on Utica’s roster has tallied at least one point this year. On top of that, City is averaging seven goals per game and has a goal differential of +32.
Playoffs: City has a chance to clinch a playoff spot today. A win over the Heat would secure a berth in the MASL Playoffs with six games to play. A win and a Baltimore loss also puts Utica’s magic number to clinch the division at five.
White Hot: Lucio Gonzaga has cranked up his offensive game. Gonzaga has eight points (2-6-8) in his last three games, including a five-assist game back on February 22 at Mississauga. He also has four points (2-2-4) in his last three home matches. The veteran midfielder has 17 points (7-10-17) in 14 games this year.
Next Game: Utica City FC returns to action Sunday, March 17 when they host the Mississauga MetroStars. Kickoff at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 2 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at (315) 790-9070 or by visiting www.empirestatetix.com.