By Alex Webbe
White Birch (Santino Magrini, Hilario Ulloa, Mariano Aguerre and Peter Brant) won their third straight game Sunday afternoon in the 20-goal USPA Monty Waterbury Cup competition and remained undefeated at 3-0, but it was no easy task. Both White Birch and Goose Creek (Maureen Brennan, Tomas Garcia Del Rio, Mariano Gonzalez and Marcos Garcia Del Rio) carried 2-0 records onto the field, scoring impressive wins in their two earlier contests.
Justin Daniels filled in for White Birch team captain Peter Brant, lowering the team handicap to 19-goals and giving them a one goal advantage to start the game. Mariano Gonzalez tied the game at 1-1 with a goal from the field for Goose Creek. Santino Magrini scored the only other goal in the chukker as White Birch left the field with a 2-1 lead.
Gonzalez added another goal to the Goose Creek total in the second period but Hilario Ulloa scored twice to extend the White Birch led to two goals, 4-2.
The two teams played evenly through the third chukker. Gonzalez and Ulloa traded goals that saw Goose Creek trailing by two goals at the end of the first half, 5-3.
Ulloa pushed the White Birch led out to three goals with the opening goal of the fourth period, 6-3, but Goose Creek battled back. A goal from Gonzalez, his fourth of the day, kept them in the game but White Birch was maintaining their two goal lead, 6-4.
Goals continued to be hard to come by as the fifth chukker got underway. Marcos Garcia Del Rio scored his first goal of the day, cutting the White Birch lead back to a single goal, 6-5. Justin Daniels countered with a goal for White Birch to end the period on top, 7-5.
Magrini’s second goal of the day gave White Birch a three goal lead, 8-5, but Goose Creek had no intention of rolling over. Gonzalez opened the scoring for Goose Creek in the sixth chukker, 8-6, followed by a goal from teammate Marcos Garcia Del Rio, 8-7.
Gonzalez scored the final goal of the chukker as Goose Creek rallied for three straight goals, tying the game at 8-8 and forcing a sudden-death overtime, the first overtime of the Greenwich season.
After a brief intermission, both teams returned to the field on fresh horses ready to play on. Both teams battled for control of the ball with Ulloa finally taking charge in the opening minute of play and carrying the ball to the Goose Creek end of the field where he scored the winning goal, 9-8.
Ulloa led the White Birch attack with five goals. Magrini added two goals; Daniels scored once and the team received one goal by handicap for the win. Gonzalez scored a game-high six goals for Goose Creek with Marcos Garcia Del Rio adding two goals in a losing effort. The victory boosts the White Birch record to 3-0 with Goose Creek falling to 2-1.
Earlier in the day Peter Orthwein’s Airstream team (Ben Lynch, Matias Magrini, Kris Kampsen and Guille Aguero) leveled their record at 1-1 with a 15-13 win over Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Gundlach, Brandon Phillips, Nick Manifold and Joao Paulo Ganon) in Monty Waterbury Cup action.
The seventeen-goal Postage Stamp Farm team received three goals by handicap and watched former 10-goaler Matias Magrini score the first goal of the game for Airstream, 3-1. Postage Stamp Farm team captain Annabelle Gundlach made it 4-1 with her first goal of the day. Airstream went on a tear, however, garnering goals from Guille Aguero, Ben Lynch (filling in for Peter Orthwein) and Kris Kampsen for a 4-4 tie. Joao Ganon scored the final goal of the chukker to give Postage Stamp Farm the 5-4 lead.
Kampsen tied the game at 5-5 with the opening goal of the second period, but an aggressive offense forced Airstream to foul and sent Brazilian 7-goaler Joao Ganon to the penalty lien where he converted for a goal from 30-yards out. The chukker ended with Postage Stamp Farm defending their one goal lead, 6-5.
Airstream stormed onto the field in the third period. Consecutive goals from Kampsen gave the lead to Airstream, 7-6, but Postage Stamp Farm fought back. A pinched nerve forced Nick Manifold to retire from the game with Juan Martin Zubiaurre taking his place for the balance of the game. Ganon scored his second goal of the game and the two teams rode off the field at the end of the first half all even at 7-7.
Ganon opened the fourth chukker with a go-ahead goal for Postage Stamp Farm, 8-7. Kampsen tied it again at 8-8. Brandon Phillips made it 9-8, Postage Stamp Farm before closing goals from Magrini and Kampsen (penalty conversion) ended the chukker with Airstream in the lead, 10-9.
Two more fifth chukker goals from Kampsen were answered by a single goal from Zubiaurre. With one period of regulation time remaining, Airstream held the advantage, 12-10.
Kampsen and Zubiaurre exchanged goals from the field to open the sixth chukker, 13-11, followed by a Penalty 1 against Postage Stamp Farm that awarded Airstream a goal, 14-11. Postage Stamp Farm continued to press the attack with Zubiaurre and Kampsen trading goals once again. Airstream held the lead, 15-12 with time running out. Philips scored the final goal of the game but it was Airstream with the 15-13 victory.
Kampsen scored an impressive ten goals on the day for Airstream. Magrini added two goals and Aguero and Lynch each scored once and the team received one goal on a Penalty 1. Ganon scored four times for Postage Stamp Farm. Zubiaurre added three goals with Phillips scoring twice and Gundlach chipping in a goal in the loss, the second in two outings for Postage Stamp Farm.
Monty Waterbury Cup competition continues on Thursday, June 16 th with a 3pm match between Postage Stamp Farm (0-2) and Goose Creek (2-1) followed by a showdown between Airstream (1-1) and 0-2 Beluga (Chris Brant, Naco Taverna, Tommy Biddle and Salvador Ulloa).
(Photo courtesy of the Greenwich Polo Club)