UTICA, NY - The chants of “Break the Streak” echoed throughout the city of Utica during the week leading up to a Sunday blockbuster in which Utica City FC welcomed undefeated Monterrey to the Adirondack Bank Center. As the top two teams in the East faced off, Utica answered every question that Monterrey asked until the final minute of action, where the Flash took an 8-6 lead and held on for a victory. 
It took only 2 minutes for the division leaders to grab a lead, with Alexis Espinosa finding a way past Andrew Coughlin in the Utica net for 1-0. Espinosa doubled the Flash lead 3 minutes later, with Uriel Zuart picking up the assist from a pass in the low corner. Utica head coach Hewerton Moreira immediately called timeout, and right after the restart Issak Somow fired a geometric pass off of the corner boards that found a waiting Tim Goldman in the box to cut the Monterrey lead to 2-1. The last 8 minutes of the quarter, while intense, did not produce a goal and the Flash took a 2-1 lead into the second. 
Coming out of the break, UCFC went on the front foot, and a clinical counterattack would tie things up for the home side. At the 1:35 mark of the quarter, Nilton de Andrade burst into the Monterrey half, and a give-and-go with Steven Fernandez led to de Andrade scoring his 20th goal of the season. Monterrey snatched a 3-2 lead back through the foot of Ismael Rojo, going through the legs of Couglin. The Flash found another with a magnificent strike from Zuart, straight into the top left corner ten minutes into the second. After just 23 seconds, Franck Tayou found a pass from Rafa Godoi and slammed the ball home to keep Utica close. Tayou then became provider, with a roulette backheel assist to Somow, who scored at the 12:52 mark to tie things up between UCFC and the Flash again. Right as the buzzer sounded, a long range effort from Utica found the back of the net but it was too late–the game remained tied at halftime.
After half, the Flash again found two quick goals to get ahead 6-4. First it was Jorge Luis Cortés, and then Daniel Villela found the second to propel the visitors ahead. However, the boys in blue continued to fight back–Tayou finding the ball in the box and finding the top corner on the swivel. Down by one, the Utica defense killed a Dylan Hundelt tripping penalty and took the game to the fourth with a scoreline of 6-5. 
Needing a goal in the fourth, who else would UCFC turn to but one of the best to ever play in the MASL? Tayou took a pass from Geo Alves and in identical fashion to his last goal–swiveling around in the box–finished to tie the game at 6-6 at the 8:02 point in the fourth. Forty seconds later, UCFC would head to a power play thanks to a boarding call on Luis Cortés. Monterrey killed the penalty, and in the final minute of play, it was heartbreak in the Adirondack Bank Center. The Flash pinched the ball off of the boards and turned forward, pulling Coughlin out of the net before Zuart squared the ball for Edgar González who passed the ball into an open net. Then, as Utica went to the extra attacker, Rojo intercepted a pass and scored an empty net goal for the Flash to make the final score 8-6. 
After the top-of-the-East clash, Utica continues the three-game home stretch next week with another Sunday matchup at the Adirondack Bank Center. On March 3rd, Baltimore travels to Central New York for a kickoff at 3:05 pm EST–tickets for the matchup are available at