UTICA TAKES DOWN BLAST IN HOME OPENER
UTICA, N.Y. – Lucio Gonzaga scored twice and Utica’s defense stifled the Blast en route to a 5-2 victory over Baltimore Sunday afternoon at the Adirondack Bank Center. Utica is now 2-0 on their young inaugural season.
Utica went up 1-0 early when a shot from Gonzaga was deflected by a Baltimore defender and into the net. Slav Ubiparipovic hooked up with Andre Braithwaite for a beautiful give-and-go play for Ubiparipovic’s third goal of the year.
The second quarter was a back and forth affair, but neither team was able to find the net as Utica took their 2-0 lead into halftime.
The defensive battle continued early in the third quarter with the two teams exchanging long possessions with low shot attempts. Baltimore got on the board with a bicycle kick goal from Adriano Dos Santos at the 8:30 mark of the third quarter. Seconds later, Josh Hughes tied the game at two after a Utica turnover at midfield. Darren Toby put Utica back on top with a header five minutes later. Joey Tavernese’s power play strike doubled the lead with 1:55 to go in the third quarter.
Utica’s defense shut down the Blast in the final quarter and Gonzaga sealed the game with empty net goal with 1:07 to play.
Utica City returns to action Saturday, December 8 for a rematch with the Blast. Kickoff at SECU Arena is at 6pm. The game can be streamed on MASL.tv.