UTICA, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Utica City FC came back to win game two of their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup on Sunday, April 16 with the Milwaukee Wave, 4-3, thanks to a three-point game by Cristhian Segura. However, it was the Wave who would have the last laugh, as Shawn Azcueta would score the game-winning goal in the knockout game and take Milwaukee into the Eastern Conference Finals with a 2-1 win.
In Game Two, Utica City jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals from Taylor Walter Bond, Gordy Gurson, and Segura. Between those goals, though, it was a battle between Utica City goaltender Andrew Coughlin and Milwaukee’s William Banahene. Coughlin would finish with 20 saves, while Banahene ended with 11.
The Wave would launch a furious comeback in the fourth, thanks to goals by former Utica City player Ben Ramin, Derek Huffman, and Marcio Leite. Leite finished with two points in the game.
However, it was Segura providing the heroics for Utica City, as his goal with 1:35 left in the game gave Utica City the 4-3 lead for good heading into the knockout game.
In the knockout game, Utica City got off to a fast start on a Steven Fernandez goal, his ninth of the season, from Steven Fernandez. However, goals from Ian Bennett and Azcueta just 42 seconds apart would spell doom for Utica City, as another goaltender battle between Coughlin and Banahene would leave the home team one goal shy of the finals in a 2-1 loss.
Both Coughlin and Banahene finished with eight saves in the knockout game.
Utica City finishes the year at 15-11-1 and sees their 2022-23 season come to an end.
Milwaukee will move on to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will face the Baltimore Blast. The Blast and Wave have only met once this year, an 11-3 win for Baltimore on Saturday, February 11.