by Michael Lehr/UCFC

Utica, NY – Sunday afternoon Utica City FC hosted the San Diego Sockers for the first time ever. The Adirondack Bank Center crowd was as strong as they have been all year. The defending champs carried a 5-2 lead into halftime, but Utica City made it a one goal game in the final few minutes of the game. San Diego ultimately got their 17th win of the year with a 6-5 victory. Utica City fell to 6-13 on the season.

The first quarter would see four goals. San Diego got on the board first with Christhian Gutierrez’s goal at 3:50. Utica City answered off a set piece when Jake Schindler found Joey Tavernese on the back post to tie the game.

After San Diego goals by Kraig Chiles and Cesar Cerda, UCFC would strike again. Nate Bourdeau found the ball at the top of the box off a pass from Tavernese, he turned and fired a shot just inside the right post to cut San Diego’s lead to one.

Late in the second quarter, Tavoy Morgan gave the Sockers some breathing room. He scored two goals at 7:40 and 9:48 of the period to make it a 5-2 game at the half.

As the second half began, the two sides would trade blows. Quentin Swift’s shot was saved, but Bo Jelovac was there to burry the rebound and make it a two-goal game. San Diego answered with less than a minute remaining in the quarter when Gutierrez struck again. It was 6-3 at the end of the fourth.

Rafa Godoi gave Utica City some momentum with an unassisted goal at 8:49 of the 4th quarter. After a number of great chances to make it a one goal game, Timmy Goldman would get a massive goal. He scored from the top of the box, and Utica City needed just one to tie it.

Head Coach Ryan Hall took a timeout with a minute and six seconds remaining, and immediately went with the extra attacker. The Adirondack Bank Center was rocking, but Utica City just couldn’t get the game winner.

UCFC returns to action on Sunday, March 20th at home against Harrisburg. Tickets are available at