Just your typical old fashioned indoor soccer barn burner: Tropics 10, Utica 9

by Brian Ackley

UTICA, N.Y. --  Zach Reget drilled home a follow up shot from about 35 feet out with 90 seconds to play Wednesday night, lifting the Florida Tropics to a 10-9 win over Utica City FC in an early “game of the year” candidate.

The Tropics never led by more than two, and twice in the second half Utica took one goal leads, before Reget’s rebound blast found the back of the net after Utica netminder Andrew Coughlin had stoned Drew Ruggles on a point-blank shot. In what quickly turned into an old-fashioned indoor soccer barn burner, the game was tied no less than seven times.

The teams combined for seven goals in the first quarter, and seven more in the third quarter. The combined 19 goals are the highest in any MASL game so far this season.  It was three short of the Tropics record of most combined goals in a game of 22. Florida outshot Utica 32-30. 

The score was tied 8-8 when Nilton Andrade scored just 33 seconds into the fourth to give Utica (2-3-0) its second lead of the game. However, Florida’s Lucas Montelares scored at the 2:47 mark for a 9-9 deadlock, setting the stage for Reget’s second game winning goal in four Florida (4-0-1) wins this season.

In addition to a pair of goals by Reget, Vini Dantas and Ricardo Carvalho each scored twice, while Breno Oliveria, Alencar Junior, and Taylor Walter Bond also scored for Florida. Jorge Navarette picked up his league-leading fourth win in goal. 

Andrade had a pair for Utica, as did Cristhian Segura. The home side also got singletons from Ricky Alves, Bo Jelovac, Issak Somow, Steven Fernandez and Joey Tavernese.

“Obviously, we’re happy to get out with the three points, but we will need to play much better defensively, and soon, than we did tonight,” Florida Coach Clay Roberts said. “This is such a tough place to play, great atmosphere, great fans, so anytime you can come to Utica and get a win you take it.”

With the win, the Tropics stretch their east division lead to four points now over idle Kansas City, who has nine points and has played one more game that Florida. Utica remains in a tie for fourth in the division with six points. Baltimore also sits with six points, but Utica has played one less game so far than the Blast. 

Standings are determined by total points. Team that win in regulation get three points. Wins in overtime or a shootout are worth two points, and a team that loses in overtime or a shootout gets one point. No points are awarded to a team that loses in regulation time.

Florida will be home Dec. 30 against the Chihuahua Savage, on the road Tuesday, Jan. 3 in Ontario, California, against the Empire Strykers, and back home for a weekend doubleheader Jan. 6 and 8 against the Harrisburg Heat. Utica will be at Milwaukee for a New Year’s Eve game Saturday.

Tickets for all Florida home games at the RP Funding Center are available starting at just $7 per game by calling the arena box office at 863-834-8111. Although tickets are also available online at www.rpfundingcenter.com, service fees are significantly higher through Ticketmaster as opposed to calling the box office directly. Tickets are also available on game day at the box office.