By Alex Webbe
Mt. Brilliant (Bo Goodman, Jason Crowder, Santi Chavanne and Julian Daniels) began administrating what looked like an old-fashioned beat-down on a disjointed La Indiana team (Michael Bickford, Ruki Baillieu, Jeff Hall and Mike Azzaro) Saturday but needed an overtime goal to escape a rabid rally in the final half of the 20-goal Iglehart Cup game at the International Polo Club for a 13-12 win.
Jason Crowder scored six of his game-high nine goals in the first three chukkers of play as Mt. Brilliant rode out to a comfortable 9-4 halftime lead. Team captain Bo Goodman scored twice in the first chukker and Julian Daniels added a goal in the second period.
First period goals from Mike Azzaro and Ruki Baillieu kept the game close in the opening minutes of play but Mt. Brilliant outscored La Indiana 6-2 (with Azzaro scoring twice) over the course of the second and third chukkers.
La Indiana cut the lead to three goals after the fourth period with Azzaro scoring twice and team captain Michael Bickford scoring his first goal of the day. Crowder converted a 30-yard penalty shot for a goal and Santi Chavanne scored once for Mt. Brilliant to maintain the lead, 7-4.
La Indiana took control of the game in the fifth, smothering the Mt. Brilliant offense with an oppressive defensive effort that kept them off the scoreboard while getting single goals from Baillieu, Bickford and Azzaro. Mt. Brilliant continued to lead but the margin had shrunk to a single goal, 11-10, with one period remaining in regulation play.
Crowder converted a 60-yard penalty shot in the sixth, giving Mt. Brilliant a two-goal cushion, 12-10, but La Indiana wasn’t going away. Azzaro scored at the 5:41 mark, 12-11, and Baillieu tied the game at 12-12 with just two minutes left on the clock. Following the final horn, both sides retired to the sidelines to acquire fresh mounts for the sudden-death overtime.
Both teams battled for possession of the ball as the overtime chukker got underway, but it was Mt. Brilliant who finally found themselves on the attack. A La Indiana foul occurred with just one minute and twenty-six seconds off the clock that send Crowder to the penalty line where he converted his seventh penalty shot of the day and his ninth score of the afternoon for the 13-12 victory.
Crowder’s nine goals led all scoring with Goodman and Daniels each adding two goals for the win. Azzaro’s six goals set the pace for La Indiana. Baillieu scored three times and Bickford added two goals in a losing effort.
The win boosts the Mt. Brilliant record to 2-0 while La Indiana suffered their second straight loss of the tournament (0-2).
Iglehart Cup semifinals are scheduled for play on Wednesday, March 8th and Thursday March 9th with pairings and times yet to be announced.
Photo by David Lominska