by Pete Richmire

Harrisburg, PA - After an overtime loss against the Texas Outlaws on Sunday, Utica hit the road to take on the Harrisburg Heat for the fifth time this season. UCFC emerged victorious once again against the Heat.  
An early challenge flag proved unsuccessful for the Heat, but they would not be denied to open the game– a deflection from Dominic Francis opened up the scoring for the home side at 6:43. Utica would push back as Taylor Walter Bond found himself wide open in front, sliding it just past the outstretched arms of the Harrisburg keeper to even out the score at 10:20. The back-and-forth play continued as the Heat would take the lead with Danny DiPrima scoring the team’s second goal of the game at 14:19. In a quick turnaround, Jayce Berger would score his first MASL goal off the restart with a rocketing strike at 14:48 to level the game for Utica and the teams headed into the second quarter tied up at 2-2.
The Heat would break the deadlock at 1:14 into the second quarter as Jackson Becher brought the score to 3-2. It was all UCFC from that point on as Berger notched his second goal of the game on a feed in front from Franck Tayou at 8:51, bringing the score to an even 3-3. Determined to take the lead, Utica’s Juan Alava went coast to coast and scored a stunning top shelf goal at 10:44.
A slow third quarter ensued as the teams continued to butt heads. Utica refused to back down as Keaton Woods scored off a set play from a restart, tallying his 10th goal of the season at 7:54 to bring the score to 5-3. With a quick header, Bond furthered Utica’s lead by bringing the score to 6-3 at 13:36. The Heat showed no intimidation though as Malcom Harris took a shot at Utica’s net, bringing the score to 6-4 with less than a minute left in the third quarter. 
The final frame saw only one goal as neither team found the back of the net through the majority of the final frame. After fending off a dangerous Heat powerplay, Utica City continued to put the pressure on as Alava widened the lead gap with a shot from distance on an empty net, icing a 7-4 victory for the road team.
With another victory under their belt, Utica City FC returns to their home turf at Adirondack Bank Center this Sunday to take on the Kansas City Comets in a rematch of their overtime thriller (kickoff at 3:00 PM EST). Tickets for that match are available at ucfctickets.com.