Baltimore, MD - Utica City FC traveled to Baltimore to take on the Blast in the first away matchup of the year. The TU Arena hosted the offensive battle which saw goals aplenty–but UCFC had the last laugh, winning by a score of 10-6. 

Utica got the scoring started just 2 minutes into the game, with Steven Fernandez picking up a loose ball and firing into the bottom left corner. Twenty seconds later, Taylor Walter Bond took a rolling pass from Mohamed Ndiaye and slotted a bouncing ball into that same bottom corner. UCFC kept up the pressure as one minute after the Bond goal Franck ‘The King’ Tayou scored his first in blue and white. It was a vintage finish from Tayou, receiving a pass from Ronaldinho Diniz before hitting the Baltimore defense with a ball roll, cutback, and finish. Utica was not done there, with Gordy Gurson putting his name on the scoresheet off of a set play pass from Ndiaye. UCFC scored 4 goals in the span of 2 minutes and 25 seconds to take a 4-0 lead in the first 5 minutes of play. 

Baltimore was not out as the Blast pulled one right back moments later. Josh Hughes scored off of the assist from Juan Pereira. Things settled down for the next 10 minutes, with Baltimore testing UCFC netminder Andrew Coughlin. The Blast also struck the post 3 times in the first quarter alone, before finding a goal from Tony Donatelli late in the period to make it 4-2 heading into the second. 

The second quarter was a different story than the first. UCFC scored the lone goal of the period off of great team play, ending with Ronaldinho tapping home his first goal of the season off of an incredible assist from Rafa Godoi to make it 5-2. Then, the second period turned into a defensive showcase for the City. Coughlin continued to make saves as Utica failed to record a shot on goal for the final 12 minutes of the first half. After two periods of action, Couglin had 9 saves recorded and the score remained 5-2. 

After the restart, there was more defensive action between the two sides. City would strike first in the third frame, with Gurson guiding home his second goal of the night at the 4:42 mark. The goal marked assist number three for Ndiaye in the match. Four minutes later UCFC would get another set play goal–this one a direct free kick from Nilton de Andrade on the power play. Right after the goal, tensions would boil over in Baltimore, with Coughlin making contact with a Blast player while coming out to clear a ball. Coughlin would receive a 5-minute major for striking, among other cards involved in the play. Baltimore would receive a penalty shot and Donatelli would find the top corner past Utica goalie Brian Wilkin for a 7-3 scoreline.

City would tack on another on the power play, with Keaton Woods finishing at the back post. Ninety seconds after the Woods goal, Bond would get his second of the night with a sliding effort at the back post off of the pass from Woods. At the end of a grueling 3rd quarter filled with controversy, UCFC would lead 9-3.

Tayou would kick off the fourth quarter with a bang, putting Utica into double digits with a screamer. Baltimore would peg another one back from Raphael Araujo to make it 10-4, and UCFC would lose Ndiaye for the rest of the match due to Utica’s number 10 picking up a red card. The Blast continued to chip away with another goal at the 10:12 mark of the fourth, with Jesus Pacheco putting home his first goal of the season to make it 10-5. Baltimore added another, with Donatelli taking credit for the extra attacker goal and earning his hat trick for the night. That would be the final tally of the night, with Utica earning a 10-6 victory to earn a 2-0 record on the season. 

UCFC continues the away matches next weekend with a 2-game series against the Harrisburg Heat on December 16th and 17th. Utica returns home on Friday, December 22nd–tickets for that match are still available at uticacityfc.com/tickets.