By Alex Webbe
White Birch (Santino Magrini, Hilario Ulloa, Mariano Aguerre and Peter Brant) successfully defended their 2015 Monty Waterbury title with an explosive three goal, sixth chukker that broke open an 8-8 tie for the 11-9 win against Goose Creek (Maureen Brennan, Tomas Garcia Del Rio, Mariano Gonzalez and Marcos Garcia Del Rio).
The two teams had met earlier in the tournament with White Birch escaping with a 9-8 overtime win, and Goose Creek was going to do everything in their power to atone for the loss.
Hilario Ulloa opened the scoring with a goal from the field but Goose Creek responded with three consecutive goals that gave them the early lead, 3-1. Mariano Gonzalez converted a pair of penalty shots for goals and Tomas Garcia Del Rio scored a goal from the field.
Ulloa converted a 40-yard penalty shot for a goal in second period action, cutting the Goose Creek lead back to a single goal, 3-2. Consecutive goals from Tomas Garcia Del Rio ended the chukker as Goose Creek left the field on top of a 5-2 score.
Tomas Garcia Del Rio’s fourth goal of the game extended the Goose Creek lead to four goals, 6-2 as the third chukker got underway, and the White Birch offense stirred. An aggressive White Birch attack resulted in three Goose Creek fouls which Ulloa converted into goals. Mariano Aguirre scored the final goal from the field to level the game at 6-6 at the end of the first half of play.
Both defenses were at their best in fourth chukker action as neither team was able to mount a successful attack. After four chukkers of play the score remained even at 6-6.
The Goose Creek was on steroids in the fifth, forcing White Birch fouls. Gonzalez converted from the 40 and 30-yard marks to put goose Creek in front, 8-6. Ulloa brought White Birch to within a goal of the lead with a 40-yard penalty shot and White Birch team captain Peter Brant tied the game at 8-8 with the final goal of the period.
Goose Creek took the lead in the sixth on a goal from the field from Gonzalez but the lead was short-lived. White Birch answered back with a tying goal from Ulloa on a penalty shot, 9-9, and a go-ahead goal from Santino Magrini, 10-9. Ulloa scored the final goal of the game from the field as White Birch celebrated the 11-9 win and the 2016 USPA Monty Waterbury Cup title.
Ulloa led the field in scoring with eight goals (six on penalty conversions). Brant, Aguirre and Magrini each added a goal for the Victory. Gonzalez scored a team-high five goals for Goose Creek (four on penalty shots). Tomas Garcia Del Rio was credited with four goals and earned MVP honors for his efforts.
Ulloa’s Karen was named Best Playing Pony.
Tournament play is scheduled to begin on Sunday, June 26th with the opening round of play in the 20-goal Butler Handicap. Teams and schedules will be released this week.
On Thursday, June 23rd Airstream (Peter Orthwein/Ben Lynch, Matias Magrini, Kris Kampsen and Guille Aguero), Postage Stamp (Annabelle Gundlach, Brandon Phillips, Nick Manifold and Joao Paolo Ganon) and Beluga (Chris Brant, Naco Taverna, Tommy Biddle and Salvador Ulloa) will compete in a subsidiary round-robin.