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Utica City FC splits two home games

Posted 1/9/23

Utica City FC finished with mixed results in a pair of home games.

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Utica City FC splits two home games

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UTICA — Utica City FC finished with mixed results in a pair of home games.

The Major Arena Soccer League squad earned a 9-8 overtime win over the Mesquite Outlaws on Saturday night before falling 8-5 to the Empire Strykers on Sunday afternoon at the Adirondack Bank Center as part of a three-game homestand.

With the results, the team — with a mix of veteran and younger players under new coach Hewerton Moreira — have lost four of the last five games and is 3-5-0 overall.

The mark puts the Utica in fifth place in the seven-team Eastern Division with eight points. They are a point back for fourth-place Baltimore and three points ahead of St. Louis, which is scheduled to visit Utica at 2:05 p.m. Sunday.

Gordy Gurson — a veteran who is in his first season with Utica — continues to have a standout season with the team.

On Saturday, Utica rallied from a 2-0 deficit early and grabbed a two-goal lead in the fourth quarter on Gurson's goal on a fast break. However, Texas-based Mesquite tied the game with back-to-back goals in the second meeting between the teams.

That led to Gurson's heroics quickly into overtime. Off the kickoff, the 30-year-old darted down the left wing and sent a shot just under the crossbar 14 seconds into the extra frame to complete a hat trick and send the announced crowd of just over 3,100 people home happy. He also assisted on another goal.

He has eight goals this season. He needs four more to reach 200 in his MASL career.

On Sunday against the California-based Empire Strykers, Utica never had a lead —the team did tie the game three times including early in the fourth quarter when Thomas R. Proctor grad Isaak Somow made a nifty move down the left side before flicking the ball over a defender and the goalkeeper.

However, Empire scored three times over 10 minutes — including two 20 seconds apart capped by Adam James' tally vs. six Utica attackers at the 10:23 mark.

Gurson finished with two assists Sunday to give him six points for the weekend. His 17 points in eight games are tied with two players for most in the MASL. He had 18 points in 22 games with Milwaukee last season.

Joey Tavernese scored three times during the weekend and has 11 total points along with co-captain Nate Bourdeau, who had an assist in the two games.

Co-captain Bo Jelovac had two goals and an assist in the two games. He has nine points this season.

Tickets remain for Utica's City FC's final contest of a three-game homestand Sunday. They can be obtained by visiting uticacityfc.com/tickets.

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