UCFC TOPS TROPICS IN OT ON SHOOTOUT GOAL, WIN 5-4
Utica, NY - Utica City FC hosted the Florida Tropics on the heels of a bigger road win. In front of a packed house, Utica City battled their way back and took Florida to overtime. Gordy Gurson was once again the hero, as he scored the overtime winner on a penalty kick and made it a 5-4 Utica City win.
The game began as a defensive stalemate, with just one total shot in the first seven minutes. Florida broke it open 10 minutes into the game, with a Ricardo Carvalho goal off an assist from Ricardo De Queiroz Diegues. Coughlin made the initial save, but Carvalho hustled for his own rebound. After the first it was 1-0 Tropics.
In the second quarter, the crowd rose to its feet on a three on one chance for Utica City, but Florida goalkeeper Jorge Navarrete slid out and made an outstanding save on Rafa Godoi. With 7 minutes left in the half, Taylor Bond and Stefan Mijatovic peppered Navarrete with shots, but then Florida went the other way and scored. It was former Utica City forward Joey Tavernese who buried the two on one goal and made it 2-0 Tropics.
Quenton Swift started the scoring for UCFC with his third of the season. He roofed one from the right side of the cage and cut Florida’s lead in half. At the end of two quarters, the road team led 2-1.
Early in the third quarter, Ricardo Carvalho perfectly placed a left-footed strike that found the top corner to widen the visitors’ lead to two. Steven Fernandez would keep the pressure on for UCFC, challenging the Tropics’ goalie successfully, winning the ball, and burying it home to bring Utica within one at 7:36. Off of a restart, Bo Jelovac would position himself on the goal line and tip in Utica City’s game tying goal.
Both teams found one in the 4th, as Jelovac kept the momentum going on a goal assisted from Taylor Bond at 7:46 of the frame. Jelovac had to battle to get his own rebound and bury his second of the day. Drew Ruggles answered just 45 seconds later to tie the game. With 1:30 left in regulation, Andrew Coughlin made perhaps his best save of the game. He jumped out to his left and stopped a back door rocket in from Carvalho to keep it tied. The game would head to overtime.
With 3:06 left in overtime, Gordy Gurson got a penalty kick. He stared down Navarrete, smiled and buried the game winner. The Adirondack Bank Center errupted, and UCFC was victorious.
When asked what he was thinking as he smiled at the goalie, Gurson said “shirt’s coming off,” and it did.
UCFC moves to 10-10 with back to back wins. They’ll play division rival Baltimore next Saturday, and return home next Sunday, March 19th for a meeting with Harrisburg Heat. Tickets are on sale at UCFCtickets.com.