Bo Jelovac scored four goals, Joey Tavernese and Logan Roberts scored twice, while Darren Toby, Stephen DeRoux, Lucio Gonzaga, Mauricio Salles, and Nate Bourdeau all chipped in with a goal each. Slavisa Ubiparipovic collected three assists and Andrew Coughlin stopped four of the nine shots he faced in the victory.
Jelovac scored twice in the first two minutes to give Utica an early 2-0 lead. Damien Graham cut the lead to 2-1 with 4:56 to play in the first. Jelovac completed the hat trick two minutes later to restore the two-goal lead.
Roberts pushed the lead to 4-1 two minutes into the second quarter, picking off a pass from Mississauga’s goalkeeper and tucking into an empty net. Josip Keran cut the deficit in half with a long strike that found its way past Coughlin. Graham made it 4-3 with a power play goal, but Toby would respond with a header 20 seconds later to reestablish their two-goal lead. Jelovac added his fourth of the game just a minute later to put City up 6-3 heading into halftime.
Luis Rocha kept the MetroStars in it with a goal 3:30 into the third quarter. DeRoux responded a minute later with a blast from the left side to put Utica back up by three. He celebrated with a back-flip off the wall of the Biergarten in front of sell-out crowd. Tavernese extended the lead to 8-4 at the 11:55 mark of the third quarter.
The MetroStars got back within three with a goal from Darren Chambers with 11:03 to go in the fourth quarter. Bourdeau made no mistake with a one-on-one opportunity with the Mississauga goalkeeper to bring the score to 9-5 five minutes into the final quarter. Salles added a power play goal 1:39 later to bring Utica to double digits for the second straight game. Tavernese, Roberts, and Gonzaga added empty net goals late in the fourth to help Utica pull away and secure the win.
Utica City FC General Manager Tommy Tanner joined Slavisa Ubiparipovic on-field prior to Sunday’s match to sign the forward to a two-year contract extension. Per league and team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Ubiparipovic, 31, is Utica’s leading goal-scorer with 16 goals on the season and 31 points. The Bosnian native has registered 54 shots on goal. He is third in the league for points and tied for third in assists with 15.
The forward has scored in every home game this season, and acknowledged the fans played a role in his decision to commit his future to Utica City.
“I’d never thought I’d get butterflies again, playing in the league for a few years, but it’s one of the best arenas to play in, and it’s our home. I am excited to continue my career in Utica.”
Prior to joining Utica City, the veteran forward spent his entire MASL career with the Syracuse Silver Knights. Through 136 games with them, he tallied 119 goals and 101 assists and was named Rookie of the Year for the 2011-12 season.
“I consider Slav to be one of the best players in the league and to be able to have him continue his career with us means a great deal to me,” said Tanner. “I signed him to his first contract eight years ago and he has been an incredible addition to every team he has played on.”
The 5’11” midfielder/forward began his soccer career in his native Bosnia before coming to the U.S. in 1999. Ubiparipovic played for Cleveland State University, where he was named first-team All-Horizon League and NCAA Division I All-Ohio first team. Slavisa was also named to the MASL Team of the Week for the first week of the 2018-19 season.
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