UTICA, NY - After a bounce back win in Harrisburg on Friday night, Utica CIty FC returned to the Adirondack Bank Center for a matchup against the Kansas City Comets. UCFC pulled away in the 4th quarter and captured all three points with a 7-3 win against KC.
After heading out on the road to Harrisburg, Utica started off this matchup back on their home turf strong as Keaton Woods successfully scored off an unassisted goal only 15 seconds into the matchup, taking a 1-0 lead against Kansas City to start the first quarter. Although coming off a strong start, neither Utica nor Kansas City would find themselves on the scoreboard throughout the remainder of the quarter. At 13:04, Isaak Somow would find the back of the net, but the goal would not count as the ball deflected off Chad Vandergriffe of Kansas City. The first quarter ended with Utica still in the lead 1-0.
The second quarter was another display of Utica dominance but great Kansas City defense. That patience paid off for the Comets as Henry Ramirez was able to poke the ball into the back of the UCFC net five minutes in. However, 9:37 into the 2nd, a poor clearance from Neto in goal gave an opportunity to Santana, who smashed it into the top corner, restoring the Utica lead. The first half ended 2-1, the lowest scoring first half in any Utica game this season.
Coming back from the halftime break, the third quarter would begin with a bit of a slow start. At 5:31, Franck Tayou would score the third goal for Utica off an assist from Woods. Quick to respond, Leo Gibson of Kansas City would bring the game score to 3-2 after finding the back of the net off an assist from Lucas Sousa at 6:25. Neither team would successfully connect the ball with the net for a majority of the third quarter, but each team would find themselves with an abundance of fouls throughout. At 14:01, Gibson scored his second goal of the game, tying things up 3-3 to end the third quarter.
At 5:46, Steven Fernandez would launch the ball into the net off an assist from Mohamed Ndiaye, putting Utica in the lead 4-3. Coming off the heat of scoring the first goal of the quarter, Somow scored another goal for Utica at 6:17 off an assist from Tayou, putting Utica two points ahead of Kansas City. Utica kept up the scoring streak as Woods scored his second goal of the game at 6:35, bringing the score to 6-3. It was three goals in the space of 49 seconds for UCFC. With only nine seconds left of the game at 14:51, Nilton de Andrade tallied one more goal for Utica off an assist from Logan Roberts, bringing the final score to 7-3.
Utica City FC will remain on their home turf at the Adirondack Bank Center for their next game on Feb. 4 against the Baltimore Blast at 3 PM. Tickets can be purchased now at ucfctickets.com.