UTICA, NY - Utica City FC faced off against the Florida Tropics following their loss on the road in front of a packed Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium for Season Ticket Member Night, coming up just short, 10-9.
The Tropics opened the game by storming out to an early two-goal lead. Following a broken play, Breno Oliveira capitalized to strike first at 12:55 and Ricardo Carvalho used his noted goal-scoring touch to make it 2-0 just two minutes later. Steven Fernandez electrified the crowd with a finish in tight to bring the home team back within one with 7:57 to play in the first. Issak Somow electrified the Utica crowd following an unbelievable sequence in which Andrew Coughlin made a highlight reel save, Somow sprinted the length of the field, made a defender miss with skill, and buried a beautiful strike to tie the game at 2-2 at 8:39. The Tropics were not deterred as Junior Alencar played a long ball from the Florida goalie perfectly to regain a 3-2 Tropics lead at 11:26. The game continued to go back and forth— Bo Jelovac knotted it at three apiece a minute and a half later, but Carvalho notched his second of the game at 14:02 to wrap up an all-offense quarter with the Tropics on top by a score of 4-3.
After such an explosive first quarter, both teams settled in during the second frame. It took Cristhian Segura capitalizing one a Tropics defensive lapse to level the game once again, now at 4-4 at 10:49 in the second quarter. Zach Reget finished a perfect feed off a deep ball from the keeper to put the Tropics back on top (5-4) to close the second quarter.
Taylor Walter Bond opened the third quarter with a goal on an odd-angle shot in tight to make it 6-4 Tropics at 02:11. After two near misses from UCFC’s offense the third time was the charm as Joey Tavernese netted his first of the game to pull the home team within one at 05:11. This sparked a rally for the home team, potting two goals in quick succession. Ricky Alves scored his first goal in blue and white to tie the game at 9:14— just 40 seconds later, Nilton de Andrade gave UCFC their first lead of the game. Vinicius Dantas tied the game at seven apiece at 11:16 and tacked on his second at 12:36 to put Florida back on top (8-7). Cristhian Segura was not content to trail heading into the fourth quarter and tied it up at 8-8 with 20 seconds to play in the quarter.
Nilton de Andrade opened the final frame exactly according to plan for UCFC, taking the lead just 33 seconds into the fourth quarter for his second of the game. Lucas Montelares made it a 9-9 game at 02:47. The team that would hit double digits would prove to be the winner as Reget scored his second of the game at 13:30 to seal the deal for the Tropics.
Utica City FC’s next home game will be in the new year against Mesquite on January 7th at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available for that contest at uticacityfc.com/tickets.