WAVE DEFEATS UTICA CITY FC IN HARD FOUGHT BATTLE
The Milwaukee Wave welcomed fans back to the notorious black turf of the UW – Milwaukee Panther Arena Thursday night. The Wave is currently a seven-time champion of the league and is looking to make it eight as they fight for the Ron Newman Cup. Tonight, they faced Utica City, who has yet to make it past the division finals in their history. Thus far in the season, the Wave has won two of the three encounters. The Milwaukee Wave is ready to continue the tradition of qualification that goes back to the 1980s. This game is one of the best-of-three series to determine the finalist from the Eastern division. The winner of the series will go on to face the winner of the San Diego Sockers and the Chihuahua Savage in the West Division, which will be determined later in the month.
Final Score: Milwaukee Wave 11, Utica City Football Club 8
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With the speed on double, the Milwaukee Wave and Utica City Football Club left it all out on the field. Corner to corner, wall to wall, the ball was never still as competition raged on. The first goal was knocked in by #3, Qudus Lawal. On a hot streak, Lawal nailed a second Wave goal into the back of the net. In true Wave fashion, good things come with #3. Qudus Lawal was burning again with an assist for #10, Mario Alvarez. Javier Steinwascher, #97, added two more goals to the board in an effort to create a more comfortable space for a win to form. Marcio also found his way on the game sheet, rounding the half out at 6-5, Wave. Utica City goals were scored by Gurson x2, Bourdeua, Jelovac, and Correa. The half ended with both the score and energy close and fans on the edge of their seats.
As both teams settled comfortably into gameplay, the pace slowed entering the third quarter. Derek Huffman, #9, scored his first of the game, followed by Marcio Leite’s second, bringing the score up to 8-5, Wave. Finally waking up in the tenth minute of the half, de Andrade got a lucky strike for Utica City. After a too-many-men call on Utica City, Luan Oliveira capped off the quarter, 9-6, Wave. Huffman shared his signature dance after his second goal of the night at the top of the fourth. Utica City, still stumped in the fourth quarter, allowed the Wave’s eleventh goal in, courtesy of Alex Sanchez. Bond scored UCFC’s seventh goal as the sixth attacker followed by Toby with the eighth. Despite their endless effort, Utica City Football Club fell short as the Wave clinched an 11-8 win.
The gameplay was very close in the first half but slowly, the Wave continued to widen the gap. “We went up 6-3, we gave up two bad goals, 6-5 at the half, we came up and defended extremely well in the third quarter,” said Head Coach Giuliano Oliviero. “It was a really great performance against a team that’s done really well recently.” The Wave has now won three of the last four games against Utica City.
The Milwaukee Wave Hardest Working Player of the Game was awarded to Marcio Leite. Leite scored two of his own goals tonight and further assisted four others for a total of six points. Marcio brought a dynamic performance today playing both offensively and defensively, also clocking two blocks. As Marcio said, “It’s not over yet.”.
On Sunday, April 16th, the Wave will head to the Adirondack Bank Center for game two with Utica City at 2:05pm CT. If the game results in a Wave win, the Wave will move on to play the Baltimore Blast for the Eastern Conference Finals. If the game results in a loss, a brand new 15-minute Game Three will be played after game two to determine a winner. You can watch the game live and for free on Twitch.
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