Tonkawa defeats ERG in Keleen & Carlton Beal Cup at Houston PC

Tonkawa - 2016 Keleen & Carlton Beal Cup Champions (Jeff Hildebrand, Steve Krueger, Matt Coppola, Tommy Biddle)

Tonkawa – 2016 Keleen & Carlton Beal Cup Champions (Jeff Hildebrand, Steve Krueger, Matt Coppola, Tommy Biddle)

The featured Sunday match at the Houston Polo Club in Houston, Texas, staged defending champions ERG (Scott Wood, Duilio Diaz, Michel Dorignac, Mike Azzaro) against Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Steve Krueger, Matt Coppola, Tommy Biddle) in the Keleen & Carlton Beal Cup Final. After two weeks of bracket play and two close semifinals, both teams boasted a 3-0 undefeated record entering the final. The first score of the game came from Team USPA member Steve Krueger for Tonkawa. The teams traded goals throughout the first three chukkers, however Tonkawa edged past ERG with six combined goals, ending the first half with a two goal lead 6-4.

Steve Krueger-Harrison Azzaro

Steve Krueger-Harrison Azzaro

In the fourth and fifth chukkers, Tonkawa widened their lead to eight with six unanswered goals, four from Coppola and one each by Krueger and Tommy Biddle. 16-year-old Harrison Azzaro, son of Mike Azzaro, substituted for Duilio Diaz in the last few minutes of the fourth chukker for the remainder of the game. Coppola continued his scoring streak into the sixth chukker with another field goal, however ERG rallied and scored three consecutive goals, one from newcomer Harrison Azzaro and back-to-back goals by Dorignac. While ERG outscored Tonkawa in the final chukker, they were unable to make up their early second half deficit. Tonkawa defeated ERG with a final score 13-7.

“It was a great team win. Everyone played for the team making selfless plays and that’s what put us on top,” said Krueger who was awarded Most Valuable Player. Biddle followed by saying, “ERG was a very tough team to beat, but we had a game plan and we were hungry throughout the whole game. Matt and Steve played amazing!” Best Playing Pony honors were presented to Olivia by Unbridled Songs played by Coppola in the fourth chukker. “We played a really good game with very few mistakes. The team is really gelling,” said Coppola.

Photos: Kaylee Wroe Photography

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