Utica takes down Romeo with a last-minute goal


Christian Cummings, Reporter

On Monday Sept. 19, the Utica boys Junior Varsity-A soccer team played the Romeo Junior Varsity-A soccer team. What ensued was a 70-minute battle in which shot after shot from each team was saved. After a 67-minute drought, junior Leo Tuci of Utica scored the game winner with only two minutes left.

“It felt amazing,” Tuci said. “I felt like I had just saved my team.”

This was a much-needed win for Utica as the Varsity soccer and Junior Varsity-B team both fell to the Bulldogs. Tuci, however, had other plans.

“I treated this like El Classico,” Tuci said. “Utica was Barcelona and Romeo was Real Madrid.”

Utica’s junior Varsity-A team has been on fire this season, winning 13 of their 14 games and bringing one game to a tie. Much of this is thanks to Tuci, boasting nine goals and two assists this season, the second highest goal count on his team, only beaten by Diego Arce, with 11 goals.

Utica JV-A coach Eric Steinwasher was very pleased with his team’s performance, especially his star striker, Tuci. Steinwasher, a coach of Utica for over 12 years, was very pleased with his player. The coach had some Plesant things to say when asked if he remembered the goal that won them the game.

“Yes, of course I remember the goal,” Steinwasher said. “Leo is always doing his best to get himself in a better scoring position.”

With Tuci being a junior, there is no doubt that his senior year will be spent on the varsity roster for Utica soccer. Though there is definitely competition, the fact still remains that there are over 25+ juniors this year, and with 14 juniors already on the varsity roster, it is either varsity or bust for many of these juniors. For Tuci, however, doubt is the last thing on his mind.

“I have no doubt in myself that I will make it,” Tuci said. “I think I have proven to everyone that I will.”

Now nearing the end of his high school soccer season, Tuci is starting his training again for next year, where coaches, teammates, and friends have no doubt he will fit right in on the next varsity roster for Utica soccer in 2023.