UTICA — Utica City FC used a five-goal fourth quarter to beat the Harrisburg Heat 10-2 Sunday afternoon at the Utica Aud.
With the win, Utica Cit earned its first playoff berth in its first year as a franchise in Utica.
Slav Ubiparipovic netted a three-goal hat trick, Logan Roberts scored twice, while Mauricio Salles, Freddy Moojen, Nate Bourdeau, Joey Tavernese and Liam Callahan all chipped in with a goal apiece. Andrew Coughlin made 11 saves on 13 shots in the win.
Roberts put City up 1-0 two minutes into the game with a left-footed strike. Ubiparipovic doubled the lead at the 9:11 mark of the first quarter with a rocket from beyond the yellow line.
Roberts scored again 1:12 into the second quarter, off his own rebound. Moojen buried a pass from Ubiparipovic off a restart to go up 4-0. Nate Bourdeau found a sliding Salles after a Harrisburg turnover to lead to 5-1. Tavoy Morgan ended the scoring run 17 seconds later.
Bourdeau scored with a header 2:15 into the fourth quarter. Ubiparipovic buried a rebound three minutes later. Harrisburg pulled their goalkeeper for the sixth attacker with nine minutes to play but Callahan made them pay with an empty netter at the 9:30 mark. Tavernese and Ubiparipovic added late goals to put the game away.
Utica FC continues to battle for the Eastern Division title, and they are back on home turf Sunday wearing yet to be released St. Patrick’s Day jerseys.