The 2018 Joe Barry Cup semi-finals displayed the prowess of Modere and Tonkawa as both teams were victorious, continuing their undefeated run with convincing victories in their respective semi-final games.
The first semi-final featured Modere against Coca-Cola in a game that was even throughout the first half, but saw Modere pull away for the 10-6 victory behind a strong second half from 10-goaler Hilario Ulloa. After a goal from Jared Zenni on the opening throw-in of the game, Coca-Cola used a balanced team defence to prevent Modere from increasing the pace. Keeping Modere in front of them in the first half, Coca-Cola limited their opponents to just two shots in the opening half. The style of play favoured Coca-Cola as Steve Krueger was able to score two field goals, while Julio Arellano added two penalty goals in the first half to give Coca-Cola the narrow 4-3 lead after the first half, in a very low scoring game.
Modere was finally able to break away to start the second half with Ulloa scoring three goals, including a steal from Arellano that Ulloa was able to walk in uncontested. With a two-goal lead after the 4th chukka, Modere continued to manage possession, running the offense through Ulloa in the final two chukkas as Coca-Cola struggled to find consistent scoring chances. Taking advantage of Coca-Cola errors late in the game, it was another steal from Ulloa that resulted in a breakaway run for his seventh goal of the game and ultimately sealed the 10-6 victory for Modere, booking their spot in Sunday’s final.
The second semi-final saw Tonkawa display a dominant offensive performance, running away with the 17-9 victory over La Indiana. Shooting an impressive 14 for 17 (82%) from the field, Tonkawa took advantage of every opportunity presented to them, scoring on a variety of runs and shots from distance. From start to finish, the game was played at a breakneck pace, which began in the opening chukka with both teams scoring three goals, including a 250 yard run from patron Jeff Hildebrand for his first goal of the game. Tonkawa’s offence, led by the duo of Sapo Caset and Julian de Lusarreta began to assert their control over the game with de Lusarreta scoring three of Tonkawa’s four goals as Tonkawa increased their lead to three.
Playing at a high level themselves, La Indiana was able to stay within reach at the end of the half, with Facundo Obregon scoring four goals through the opening three chukkas, leaving La Indiana trailing 9-6, despite missing just one shot in the opening half. The fourth chukka saw the full capacity of Tonkawa’s offense as Caset scored three goals along Hildebrand’s second goal of the game, while holding La Indiana to zero shots, providing Tonkawa with a seven-goal lead with two chukkas remaining. Tonkawa was able to cap off their win with perfect 3 for 3 shooting in the 6thchukka, two of which coming off the mallet of Sterling Giannico as Tonkawa’s offense exploded for 17 goals and secured their spot in Sunday’s final against Modere.