TOWSON, MD. – A late rally from the Baltimore Blast (10-7-3) was not enough to overcome the strong start by Utica City FC (11-10), and the Blast fell 6-4 on Saturday night.
Utica City got on the board first early in the first quarter after Nilton Andrade scored off the assist from Steven Fernandez, but the Blast matched them at one off a free kick. Juan Pereira received the pass from Max Ferdinand to even the score.
FC took a 2-1 lead after Issak Somow took the pass from Bo Jelovac and put it in the back of the net. With less than five minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Stefan Mijatovic blasted a shot into the net to give Utica City a 3-1 lead. Gordy Gurson was credited with an assist. The first quarter ended with FC holding a 3-1 lead.
Just over a minute into the second quarter, Utica City extended its lead to 4-1 after Keaton Woods sent the ball into the box and found Taylor Walter Bond for the goal. The remainder of the second quarter was scoreless, and Utica City went into halftime with a 4-1 lead.
At halftime, the Blast inducted three members into the Hall of Fame. Barry Stitz (with Baltimore from 1992-2000), Jason Dieter (1992-97, 1998-2003) and Nick Mangione (1980-84) received the honors.
The Blast scored a little more than halfway into the third quarter after Tony Donatelli gave the ball to Pereira who scored his second goal of the game. Minutes later, Gordy Gurson scored his first goal of the game to give FC a 5-2 lead, with Andrew Coughlin picking up the assist.
Baltimore once again cut FC's lead to two goals after Jonatas Melo assisted on a shot from the top of the box by Donatelli. The shot put the game at 5-3 in favor of Utica City. The Blast came right back and scored again with just under nine minutes remaining in the game to cut its deficit to 5-4. Patrick Thompson scored off the assist from Lucas Roque.
With under three minutes remaining, Baltimore pulled goalkeeper William Vanzela and brought in a sixth attacker. With just under 30 seconds, Utica City scored an open-net goal to take a 6-4 lead and win the game.
The Blast return to action on Sunday to take on the Kansas City Comets at 6:05.