UTICA, NY - Hot off the heels of a road win over Harrisburg, Utica City FC hosted the Baltimore Blast in an action-packed matchup in front of a vocal home crowd. With the deafening support of the fans, UCFC came away with a win 5-2 in a highly-anticipated matchup.
UCFC came out strong as Issak Somow found Geo Alves at the back post with 14 minutes to play in the 1st quarter. The home side led early on but both sides came ready for a gritty match. Six fouls were committed early in the 1st and UCFC outshot Baltimore 4-3 to close out the 1st leading 1-0.
The Baltimore Blast came back in the 2nd quarter getting on the board from a power play goal. Moises Gonzalez buried a strike past the keeper from a pass by Lucas Roque. The Baltimore Blast applied pressure on the offensive end, outshooting UCFC 9-5 while taking advantage of their only power play in the 2nd to even up the game at 1-1.
The 3rd quarter action kicked off with a counter-attack goal from UCFC. Steven Fernandez set up Keaton Woods to put the home side up 2-1 with 14 minutes left to play. The home team controlled possession leading to their next goal. Playing it out the back, Andrew Coughlin found Alexander Gomez who took it by himself to beat the keeper with a long-distance shot with under a minute left in the 3rd. Gomez set the record with that goal as the youngest player (19) to score as a member of UCFC as Utica closed out the quarter leading 3-1.
The final quarter began with UCFC continuing to apply offensive pressure. Andrew Coughlin once again playing out the back finds Taylor Walter Bond for a one-time volley. The home side extended their lead 4-1 with little under 14 minutes to play. The Utica offense continued to show up big with Alves and Somow combining again. For the second time, Somow found Alves for a clean finish to put UCFC up 5-1 with 7 minutes left to play. Late in the quarter, Max Ferdinand found a corner off a pass from Jonatas Melo with under 1 minute left, but it was not nearly enough for Baltimore to claw back.
Utica City FC returns to home turf on March 12th against the Florida Tropics. Tickets are available at ucfctickets.com.