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 Utica City FC

Utica City FC Suffers Season-Ending Loss to Kansas City in Game 2 of Conference Semifinals, 7-5

April 15, 2024 - Major Arena Soccer League (MASL)
Utica City FC News Release

Utica, NY - With a crowd dressed in all white at the Adirondack Bank Center, Utica City FC welcomed the Kansas City Comets to central New York to continue the Eastern Conference Semifinals. After suffering a 5-4 overtime loss in Game 1 of the series, UCFC needed a game win followed by a knockout game victory to advance into the next round. The home side led early, but a comeback from Kansas City led to a 7-5 defeat and the end of the 2023-2024 MASL season for Utica City FC.

An energetic crowd propelled Utica to a quick start. The home side forced three saves out of KC netminder Nicolau Neto before Ronaldinho Diniz broke the deadlock at the 5:23 mark of the first. Then, the scoring opened up for the two sides: a response from Zach Reget followed by a quick-fire double from Taylor Walter Bond had UCFC leading 3-1. Then, at the 12:44 mark Ignacio Flores found a way past Andrew Coughlin to make the score 3-2 in favor of the hosts. That score held until the end of the first, with Utica taking a one-goal lead into the second quarter. Both sides played defensive in the second, with the best chance a Gordy Gurson volley that stung the hands of Neto. After a scoreless second, the score remained 3-2 at half.

Utica started the second half on the power play, with a 2 minute minor penalty assessed to Rian Marques for kicking at the closing stages of the first half. In the closing stages of the man-up advantage, Steven Fernandez found Moh Ndiaye at the back post for a tap-in. KC would follow up with a power play of their own after Gurson was sent to the penalty box. Reget netted his second of the game in the next minute, pushing the score to 4-3. Kansas City equalized right before the media timeout in the third, as Chad Vandegriffe squeezed one past Coughlin. The Comets continued a bright third quarter by taking a 5-4 lead out of the media timeout, as Flores netted his second. The visitors continued the onslaught, as Henry Ramirez turned a swiveling shot into the bottom corner. Utica was down, but not out, as Ronaldinho dragged the home side right back into the game by hitting the back of the net after a great pass from Geo Alves. The Ronaldinho goal was the final tally of the third, and Utica City FC trailed by one, 6-5, heading into the final frame of the contest.

Down by one and needing a goal to keep the season alive, UCFC stepped up the pressure in the KC defensive zone. Although Utica earned chances, the Kansas City defense stood tall to hold off any dangerous UCFC attempts. Then, in a blistering counterattack, Flores scored off of a rebound to give KC a 7-5 lead. As time dwindled down, Utica pulled Coughlin in hopes of securing more attacking opportunities. The extra attacker proved ineffective, and Utica City FC fell in Game 2 by a score of 7-5

Utica City FC thanks all of the fans for their continued support throughout the 2023-2024 MASL season. Stay tuned to Utica City FC social media to keep up with the team during the offseason on Instagram or X (formerly Twitter) @UticaCityFC or on Facebook.

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