Baltimore Blast defeats No. 2 Utica City, 13-6

by Baltimore Blast

TOWSON, Md. (Feb. 17, 2024) – Ricardo Diegues may have played in just his second game as a member of the Baltimore Blast, but he looked comfortable on Saturday against Utica City FC.

His five goals for Baltimore (7-6-1) helped them earn a convincing win over Utica City (11-3-1), winning 13-6. Juan Pereira felt generous, dishing out three assists in the win. Goalkeeper Mike Zierhoffer had a hat trick in the fourth quarter alone as Utica City utilized a sixth attacker for much of the quarter.

Victor Parreiras started the scoring on a fast break after he kicked the ball from the left side to the right side of the goal, right past FC goalkeeper Brian Wilkin. Baltimore scored again minutes later, with Diegues scoring. He stole the ball from Utica City and acrobatically sent the ball into the net. The Blast took a 2-0 lead.

With just over a minute remaining in the first quarter, the Blast picked up a blue card for having too many men on the field. It gave Utica City a power play, but it was no problem for Baltimore. Jereme Raley scored a goal off a rebound from his shot. The goal came with three seconds remaining in the first quarter, giving Baltimore a 3-0 lead after one quarter.

Utica City got on the board at 10:28 after a handball on Pereira led to a penalty kick. Franck Tayou scored to cut the Blast lead to 3-1. The Blast responded soon after with a goal from Tony Donatelli. Pereira picked up the assist, the first of the game for either team. 

But again, Utica City responded with a goal to keep it at a two-goal difference. Tayou picked up his second goal of the game. Issak Somow picked up the assist. And less than a minute later, Baltimore scored again. Moises Gonzalez booted it from the top of the goalie box on the assist from Joshio Sandoval.

The high-scoring second quarter continued after a shot from Utica City’s Nilton de Andrade ricocheted off Baltimore’s Mike Deasel and into the goal. Utica City cut the deficit to 5-3. Less than a minute before the half, Baltimore scored again to take a 6-3 lead into the break. Diegues scored an unassisted goal. 

It only took 50 seconds for Utica City to pick up a goal. Cole Stephens scored on a Utica City power play. Diegues picked up a hat trick on a header assist from Donatelli. The Blast took a 7-4 lead.

Diegues’ career day continued in the waning stages of the third quarter after he picked up his fourth goal of the night. Moments later, Pereira found Diegues again, right in front of the goal. His fifth goal of the night gave Baltimore a 9-4 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Gonzalez netted his second goal of the night, giving Baltimore a 10-4 lead. Utica City utilized a sixth attacker for most of the fourth quarter. Towson won handily, 13-6.