Mt. Brilliant’s success Friday in their 12-11 victory over Barrington in the 302 Polo USPA Northrup Knox 16 goal at Meadow Hill could be attributed to the team’s consistency, said Julian Daniels, Mt. Brilliant.
It was Daniels who opened the game’s scoring, and Mt. Brilliant’s steady play over the course of the game contributed to their well balanced offensive attack. Barrington answered with a successful 40-yard penalty conversion by Antonio Galvan. Mt. Brilliant would counter with a successful 40-yard penalty shot of their own, this time off the mallet of Juan Monteverde.
The momnetum of the game would shift in the direction of Barrington as Adam Snow scored twice from the field.
Mt. Brilliant tied the game on a goal by Bo Goodman in the 2nd chukker. The period served as a harbinger of what was yet to come as Mt. Brilliant’s dominant play in the 3rd period enabled them to outscore their opponents 4-2, and they took a 7-5 lead into the half. Goals from the field by Daniels, Monteverde and a pair from Willie Hartnett allowed Mt. Brilliant to open a 7-4 lead. Barrington’s goals came on 2 penalty conversions from Galvan.
“In the previous tournament, we couldn’t get six chukkers in any one game consistently,” said Daniels. “We’d play three good chukkers and three terrible chukkers. In the three terrible chukkers, we were terrible, and today was the first day where we played consistently.”
Barrington won the opening bowl-in of the 2nd half, but it was Mt. Brilliant’s willingness to make a number of adjustments, placing an emphasis on a strategy that saw each player going to their assigned man, and that allowed them to create a number of scoring opportunities. A deep drive by Mt. Brilliant saw Bo Goodman carry the ball toward goal, only to have his shot go wide right by inches. But, it was those type of offensive rushes by Mt. Brilliant that would punctuate play throughout the second half. Antonio Galvan would reduce the deficit to 1 goal on a successful penalty no. 3 from 40 yards out. Mt. Brilliant answered with consecutive goals from Willie Hartnett, who continued to wield the game’s hot mallet from the previous chukker. Barrington’s Adam Snow would pick up his 3rd goal of the game late in the period.
A resourceful use of the goal post by Mt. Brilliant’s Juan Monteverde played a role in the opening goal of the penultimate chukker as his shot hit the inside of the left upright and deflected through the goal mouth. Barrington returned the favor with Owen Rinehart scoring from the ensuing bowl-in. Rinehart was also a strong presence on defense, precluding a goal by making a heads up play in front of the goal mouth, and thwarting the opposition’s offensive drives by his ability to read the oncoming play. Mt. Brilliant opened up a 3 goal lead for a second time in the game as Bo Goodman picked up his 2nd goal from the field.
“Bo carried the ball a lot today, and that helped pull the team forward,” said Daniels.
Goodman’s goal would loom large entering the final chukker as Barrington began their resurgence with consecutive goals from Galvan, Rinehart and another by Galvan to tie the game. A well placed backshot by Hartnett late in the final chukker turned out to be the game winning goal.
“We played one chukker where we scored a bunch of goals, the other chukkers were average, and weren’t terrible,” said Daniels. “We kept a much better balance. That’s the first time we played six chukkers consistently. We just had to make sure that they didn’t have too much time with the ball. We were always close to a man, and paired up. It was just a question of maintaining our momentum and keeping our game level and at more of an even keel.”