Less than a minute remains in the sixth chukker. After trailing Film Finances for three chukkers, Novis Insurance scores their third consecutive goal to put the team ahead by one goal. The clock is ticking down, nearing the :30 second mark. Gaston von Wernich on Film Finances executes a perfect pass to Dan Walker who is sitting up near the goal. Walker receives the pass and shoots towards the goal. The ball takes off, but the horn sounds before the it can cross the line, giving Novis Insurance the victory in the USPA La Martina Intra Circuit Cup.
From the first minutes of the game, the faceoff between Film Finances and Novis Insurance was one of the most competitive games of the season. Felipe Vercellino kicked off the match with three quick goals in the first chukker. A handicap goal and a goal from the field by Fassetta kept Film Finances within one to end the first period of play.
Mariano Fassetta and Walker clicked with teammates Brecheen and Von Wernich in the second chukker and began to take control of the match. Fassetta’s confidence in Walker showed as he consistently passed the ball to his number one. A goal each by Fassetta and Walker push Film Finances into the lead by the third chukker.
Fassetta’s nimble style on the field impressed the crowd as he swiftly scored his third goal from the field. Though the score remained low, Film Finances continued to slowly add to their tally while holding the Novis Insurance offense from scoring.
By the fifth chukker, Film Finances seemed to have a steady grip on the game, leading Novis Insurance 7-5.
Novis Insurance was determined to reverse the momentum. A perfectly timed pass from Trotz set Wright up for his first goal of the match followed by two quick goals from Vercellino aboard his little black mare, “Branca.” In a heartbreaking finish for the Film Finances team, Novis Insurance took home the victory with the score reading 8-7 at the end of six chukkers.
Novis Insurance rode off the field embracing each other as they celebrated their close victory. Jim Wright, also a member of Team USPA, spoke highly of his team and his time in Santa Barbara. “It was a pleasure being able to play in Santa Barbara this season. I loved our team and how close we were on and off the field. I think that helped us to succeed as a team because we knew how to play together and how to talk to each other on the field. I loved playing with Trotz and Pipe [Felipe]. They always encouraged me to be my own player, but also helped me learn how to play together as a team. Trotz is a great captain and was able to keep Pipe and I in line this season.”
Olga Vaughn and Ashley McKenzie from La Martina presented the season end awards and the 12 Goal USPA La Martina Intra Circuit Trophy.
Best String of the 12 Goal Season: Graham Bray
Season MVP: Felipe Vercellino
USPA Circuit Sportsmanship Award presented by Circuit Governor Pat Nesbitt: Jesse Bray
USPA La Martina Intra Circuit MVP: Dan Walker
USPA La Martina Intra Circuit Professional BPP: “Branca” Felipe Vercellino
Engel and Völkers Amateur BPP: “Angel” Dan Walker