Second Half Comeback Falls Just Short in Loss to Utica

by Austin David

Orlando, FL, – After falling behind early, the Orlando SeaWolves made a second-half push that came within one of tying the game, but they could not complete the full comeback as they fell to Utica City FC 7-6, with Utica clinching the Eastern division. 

“It seems we repeat the same things over and over again,” Head Coach Tom Traxler said after the match. “We dig ourselves holes, then we start to climb back into a game and then we have mental lapses where we do unnecessary things, commit silly fouls and dig ourselves another hole again and then we have to try to come back again.”

The game started slowly, as both teams grew into the game. Utica struck first to open the game, then doubled their lead four minutes later. They would go on to add a third in the second quarter before Orlando finally broke through, thanks to Thiago Freitas’ steal and assist to Osvaldo Rojas. Utica would pull the goal right back just two minutes later to make it 4-1 as the teams headed to the locker rooms. 

To start the third quarter, Orlando made a bit of a run. Edwin Rojas and Lewis Neal both scored to pull the deficit to just one, but two back-to-back goals within 30 seconds pushed the Utica lead back up to three to start the fourth quarter.

Richard Schmermund scored on a free kick to cut it to two again, but Utica once again responded. Stefan Mijatovic and Derek Huffman would score late with a sixth attacker, but with only 30 seconds on the clock, it was too little too late to complete the comeback and Orlando fell 7-6. 

Orlando will play their final home game of the season tomorrow, April 13 against the Florida Tropics, with kickoff set for 7:05 P.M.