Towson, MD – A strong opening quarter helped propel the Baltimore Blast past Utica City FC, winning 10-3. Lucas Roque recorded five points for the Blast on four goals and an assist on a night where the Blast put up their highest number of goals since March 20, 2022 when they netted 12 against the Florida Tropics.
After a shot from Juan Pereira was blocked, Roque was there to head the rebound into the back of the net, giving the Blast an early 1-0 lead. Pereira was credited with the assist.
The next goal of the game came in similar fashion, as a shot from Patrick Thompson went high of the net but Tony Donatelli was right there to put the rebound into the goal. The Blast jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first eight minutes of the game.
Baltimore's strong start continued with Roque's second goal of the evening. Onua Obasi picked up the assist. Less than two minutes later, Jonatas Melo sent a ball to the middle of the field where Roque tapped the ball into the goal for his third of the quarter. Baltimore took a 4-0 lead to the end of the first quarter.
Utica City got on the board in the second quarter with a putback shot by Tim Goldman. Andrew Coughlin picked up the assist. Halfway through the second quarter, the Blast led 4-1. The Blast responded with a goal from Jamie Thomas on the assist from Max Ferdinand to regain a four-goal lead.
At halftime, Baltimore led Utica City 5-1 behind Roque's three goals. The defense for the Blast was exceptional, holding Utica City to just one goal and recording six blocks. Goalkeeper William Vanzela recorded two saves.
Less than a minute into the second half, Donatelli sent a through ball into the middle of the pitch and Melo scored it from short-range to give the Blast a 6-1 lead. The Blast rode their 6-1 lead into the fourth quarter.
Around three minutes into the final quarter of play, Roque found the back of the net for a fourth time after an open net. Utica City's goalkeeper was in their offensive end, and turned the ball over leading to a shot from midfield.
After Utica City went on a power play due to a blue card called on Josh Hughes, Utica City's Nate Bourdeau scored off the assist from Gordy Gurson, who found him near the baseline for the tap-in. Utica City cut their deficit to 7-2.
Another midfield shot, this time from Melo, found the goal for Baltimore after the goalkeeper was helping out on offense again. Roque picked up the assist, his fifth point of the night. Melo sent a goal into the net to give the Blast their ninth goal of the night, and Pereira gave them their tenth moments later.
The Blast won the game 10-3. Their next game is Friday, Jan. 27 at the Harrisburg Heat at 7:35 p.m.