The 2017 Joe Barry Memorial continued Thursday with a tense double-header at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC). Both teams won by a single goal. Grand Champions Polo Club defeated Goose Creek 12-11, and Postage Stamp Farm, in their first season at IPC, bested veteran Coca-Cola 13-12 in overtime.
Grand Champions Polo Club got off to a 5-2 lead after two chukkers, thanks to the spot-on penalty shooting of Nic Roldan, who converted three of four attempts. Goose Creek put on sustained pressure through the first half, winning 10 of 16 throw-ins. They had an improved third chukker, scoring on two field goals and a penalty shot, which tightened Grand Champions’ lead to 7-5.
Fouls began to catch up to Grand Champions in the second half. They fouled five times in the fourth chukker, resulting in two penalty goals for Goose Creek. Ultimately Goose Creek had difficulty capitalizing on their chances in open play, only shooting 4 of 12 (33.3%), while Grand Champions shot 6/9 (66.7%).
The difficulty Goose Creek experienced from the field was not a matter of penalty shots, as they converted 8 of 11 (Mariano Gonzalez 7/10, Ignacio Laprida 1/1). Grand Champions marched on to victory with efficient shooting from the field. Nic Roldan made two spectacular goals, one on an offside neck shot and the other on a nearside neck shot from distance. Roldan converted five of six penalty shots. Both he and Mariano Gonzalez scored seven goals for their respective teams in a game that came down to the final 30 seconds.
Postage Stamp Defeats Coca-Cola in OT
In a nail-biting contest, Postage Stamp Farm clinched a 13-12 victory in overtime. The victor came out firing with the shooting of Kris Kampsen, who finished with 10 goals on the day (5/8 field shots, 5/8 penalty shots).
Early on Coca-Cola foul themselves in foul trouble. They fouled seven times in the first two chukkers, leading to three penalty goals for Postage Stamp. However, Coca-Cola bounced back with a strong third chukker, limiting their fouls and winning all four throw-ins. They notched a series of goals on perfect 3-for-3 shooting to take a 6-5 lead at halftime. However, the combination of Kampsen and Aguerre proved tough to handle. Their relentless attack led to two goals in the fourth chukker and four in the fifth, giving Postage Stamp a three-goal lead going into the final chukker.
Coca-Cola finished strong, scoring four goals in the sixth chukker (3/4 field goals, 1/2 penalty shots), including two goals in the final two minutes. Their final goal came at the 30-second warning, sending the game into overtime. In an extremely close and exciting overtime period, Coca-Cola could just about taste victory as Julio Arellano came within feet of finishing the game. But once again the combination of Kampsen and Aguerre led a counterattack. Aguerre closed the door with a goal and a 13-12 victory for Postage Stamp.
The Joe Barry Memorial continues Saturday with two games. La Indiana faces Tonkawa at noon, and Villa del Lago takes on Mt. Brilliant at 3 p.m. All games in the tournament re being live streamed on the USPA Polo Network: uspolo.org.