By Alex Webbe
Airstream (Ben Lynch, Matias Magrini, Kris Kampsen and Guille Aguero) scored the first goal of the game, but it was all White Birch (Santino Magrini, Hilario Ulloa, Mariano Aguerre and Peter Brant) from then on. A pair of goals from Hilario Ulloa ended the first chukker with White Birch in front, 2-1.
Three more second chukker goals went unanswered as White Birch extended their lead. Two goals from Santino Magrini and a single goal from Mariano Aguirre were complimented by shutout defense as White Birch moved out to a four goal lead, 5-1.
Matias Magrini opened the third period with a goal for Airstream, but there was no rally forthcoming. Goals from Aguirre and Ulloa closed out the first half with White Birch comfortably on top by five goals, 7-2.
Airstream’s high-scoring Kris Kampsen averaged eight goals a game in the team’s earlier three games, but he was held scoreless in the first half of play, scoring his first goal of the day as the fourth chukker got underway, 7-3. Ulloa added another White Birch goal with Aguirre scoring twice, 10-3. Aguero scored the final goal of the period to trail White Birch by six goals, 10-4.
Offenses were muted in fifth chukker action with neither team being able to mount a series of successful drives. Ulloa scored his fifth of the day, however, and the White Birch lead grew to seven goals, 11-4, with one chukker remaining in regulation play.
Airstream got sixth chukker goals from Magrini Kampsen with team captain Peter Brant scoring the lone goal for White Birch as they scored their fourth consecutive win (4-0) in the 12-6 victory and earned their spot in the tournament final on Wednesday against Goose Creek (Maureen Brennan, Tomas Garcia Del Rio, Mariano Gonzalez and Marcos Garcia Del Rio).
Postage Stamp Farm 13, Beluga 12
In the feature match of the day Postage Stamp (Annabelle Gundlach, Brandon Phillips, Nick Manifold and Joao Paolo Ganon) opened the game like gang-busters but needed a last chukker goal from Brazilian 7-goaler Joao Ganon to secure a 13-12 win over Beluga (Chris Brant, Naco Taverna, Tommy Biddle and Salvador Ulloa).
Postage Stamp Farm received one goal by handicap from the 18-goal Beluga lineup and quickly added to it with consecutive goals from Brandon Phillips, Joao Ganon and Nick Manifold for an early 4-0 advantage. Naco Taverna finally got Beluga on the scoreboard, 4-1 with Postage Stamp Farm team captain Annabelle Gundlach and Taverna trading goals to end the period with Beluga trailing by three goals, 5-2.
Beluga regrouped and fought their way back into the game in the second chukker. An oppressive defense held Postage Stamp Farm scoreless while goals from Chris Brant and Tommy Biddle cut the Postage Stamp Farm lead back to a single goal, 5-4.
Biddle tied the game at 5-5 with the opening goal of the third chukker and gave Beluga the 6-5 lead with his third goal of the game. Ganon tied it again at 6-6 but Beluga came right back. Salvador Ulloa’s first goal of the game put Beluga in front once again, 7-6. Ganon scored the final goal of the chukker, ending the first half in a 7-7 tie.
Ulloa and Phillips exchanged goals in the fourth to make it 8-8. Ganon gave Postage Stamp Farm the lead again with the closing goal to make it 9-8, Postage Stamp Farm.
Ganon’s fifth goal of the game stretched the Postage Stamp Farm lead to two goals, 10-8, but Beluga stormed back. Back-to-back goals from Ulloa, 10-10, were followed by Biddle’s fourth score of the afternoon allowing Beluga to leave the field on top of an 11-10 score.
Gundlach tied the game with the first goal of the sixth chukker, 11-11, and Ganon gave the lead back to Postage Stamp Farm, 12-11. Biddle tied the game at 12-12 but it was Ganon with the winning goal, 13-12, in the final minute of play.
Ganon led the field with seven goals, earning MVP honors for his efforts. Phillips and Gundlach scored two goals apiece with Manifold adding a goal for the win. Biddle’s five goals led the Beluga attack. Ulloa scored four times; Taverna added two goals and team captain Chris Brant scored once in a losing effort.
The final of the 2016 USPA Monty Waterbury Cup is scheduled to be played on Wednesday, June 22 between White Birch and Goose Creek. White Birch returns as the 2015 defending champion while it was a strong Goose Creek team that forced their earlier game with White Birch into overtime before a goal from Hilario Ulloa won it gave the victory to the sitting champions.