By Alex Webbe
Mt. Brilliant (Bo Goodman, Jason Crowder, Santi Chavanne and Julian Daniels) looked strong in the opening chukker of Wednesday’s semifinal of the 2017 20-goal Iglehart Cup at the International Polo Club with Jason Crowder scoring three consecutive goals for the early lead, 3-0, but Equine Liquid Biocell (Duillio Diaz, Agustin Obregon, Hilario Ulloa and Jared Zenni) Agustin Obregon put up the final two goals of the chukker to trail, 3-2.
Ten-goaler Hilario Ulloa tied the game at 3-3 as the second period got underway with his first goal of the day. Crowder’s fourth goal of the match gave the lead back to Mt. Brilliant, but it would be their last lead of the day. Ulloa added two more goals with team captain Jared Zenni adding a goal for the 6-4 Equine Liquid Biocell lead.
Both defenses tightened in the third as the pace quickened. Ulloa scored on a neck-shot at the 3:46 mark for the only goal of the chukker. At the end of the first half it was Equine Liquid Biocell with a 7-4 edge.
Scoring was limited in the fourth chukker with Obregon extending the Equine Liquid Biocell lead to four goals, 8-4. Santi Chavanne countered with a goal for Mt. Brilliant, who continued to trail, 8-5.
Ulloa opened the fifth chukker with a 40-yard penalty conversion and followed it up at the 3:55 mark with a goal from the field, 10-5. Chavanne scored the final goal of the chukker, with Equine Liquid Biocell leading by four goals, 10-6.
Mt. Brilliant fought back in the sixth, but couldn’t break through the Equine Liquid Biocell defenses until midway through the chukker, cutting the lead to three goals, 10-7. Play continued to be rough with Mt. Brilliant being awarded a pair of 60-yard penalty attempts. The first was no good with the Crowder converting the second one in the waning seconds of the match for a 10-8 Equine Liquid Biocell win and a berth in the tournament final.
Ulloa scored two of his six goals on penalty conversions. Obregon added three goals and Zenni was credited with a goal in the win. Crowder led the Mt. Brilliant attack with five goals. Chavanne scored twice and Daniels added a goal in a losing effort.
La Indiana 10, Tonkawa 8
La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Ruki Baillieu, Jeff Hall and Mike Azzaro) might have gotten off to a slow start, but they finished with style as they bounced back from a 6-4 halftime deficit to beat Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Costi Caset, Sapo Caset and Facundo Obregon) by a 10-8 score and earn a berth in Sunday’s 2017 Iglehart Cup at the International Polo Club, where they will face Equestrian Liquid Biocell.
A flashy Tonkawa opening chukker saw 10-goaler Sapo Caset score the first four goals of the match while the disciplined defense held La Indiana scoreless. The first chukker went to Tonkawa, 4-0.
A regrouped La Indiana foursome rode confidently onto the field in the second period and recorded a pair of goals of their own. Ruki Baillieu took advantage of a Tonkawa miscue and jumped on the ball and raced down the field for their first goal of the game, 4-1. A Tonkawa penalty sent Mike Azzaro to the penalty line where he converted the shot from 30-yards out. Tonkawa was unable to score but continued to lead, 4-2.
The two teams traded goals in the third. Jeff Hall scored twice for La Indiana while Tonkawa got goals from Costi Caset and Facundo Obregon. Tonkawa maintained their two-goal lead, 6-4, at the end of the first half.
The pace picked up as the game became more physical. Two more goals from Hall were answered by a single goal from Sapo Caset. Tonkawa continued to hold the lead but found themselves clinging to it by a one goal margin, 7-6, as the period ended.
Baillieu tied the game at 7-7 with the opening goal of the fifth chukker, but Tonkawa fought back. A goal from the field from Sapo Caset gave Tonkawa the lead once again, 8-7. Azzaro converted a 60-yard penalty shot for La Indiana, 8-8, and a final goal from Hall had La Indiana leaving the field with a one goal advantage, 9-8, and one period left in regulation play.
Tonkawa tried to re-start their offense but the La Indiana defenders continued to interfere with the connection between Sapo Caset and his cousin, Costi Caset. Azzaro extended the La Indiana lead to two goals, 10-8, with a short penalty conversion and a final goal from La Indiana team captain, Michael Bickford sealed the victory and earned them a spot in the tournament final.
Hall led the La Indiana attack with five goals, all from the field. Azzaro scored all three of his goals from the penalty line with Baillieu adding two goals and Bickford scoring once for the win. Sapo Caset’s seven goals led the field in scoring with seven. Obregon accounted for the only other Tonkawa goal in the loss.
Photos by Alex Pacheco