Chemistry and familiarity were two very important variables in Desginer Builders 9-3 victory Saturday afternoon in the 10th annual Pacers and Polo game sponsored by Parsons, the final of the three jewels in the Aiken Triple Crown, at the Aiken Polo Club’s Powderhouse Fields. Saturday’s crowd was the largest in history of the decade old event.
However, it was Burger King opening the scoring, engineering the drive from their backline, with Horacio Onetto recording the game’s first goal. Designer Builders would answer on a successful 60-yard penalty conversion by Adam Snow.
An emphasis on defense by Designer Builders seemed to shift the game’s momentum their way as they began working in unison and creating a host of offensive opportunities. .
The second chukker was no different as Antonio Galvan and Alan Meeker added goals from the field before a determined Kegan Walsh would reduce the deficit to one goal. But, it was Designer Builders’ relentless and determined defense that put the game out of reach by the fourth chukker as Snow, Galvan and Barb Uskup would score from the field to give Designer Builders a four goal cushion at the half.
The respite at halftime only seemed to inspire Designer Builders as their teamwork and ability to finish plays were among the variables factoring into three more goals, giving them a commanding 9-2 lead going into the fifth chukker.
“We had a little bit of an advantage,” said Uskup. “Adam, Antonio and I spent last year playing the 16-goal together. When you have that experience to draw upon, it makes a big difference. You know what to expect and are familiar with each others playing style.”
Alan Meeker’s break away goal in the 4th chukker on his favorite mare Coca-Cola, saw him carry the ball three-quarters of the length of the field, as he scored his second goal of the game and earned Most Valuable Player honors. It was Meeker’s first time playing with Uskup, Galvan and Snow, having played against them previously.
“They were kind enough to throw the ball my way a few times,” said Meeker. “She’s (Coca-Cola) an older mare, but she’s one of my handiest. She’s always in the right spot at the right time.”
Designer Builders stellar defensive performance kept Burger King scoreless for three chukkers.
Burger King won the majority of the bowl-ins in the game’s final chukker allowing them more possession time as they scored the period’s only goal with Horacio Onetto finishing a play started by Jose Rodriguez.
Barb Uskup’s C.J., played by Antonio Galvan, was selected as the game’s Best Playing Pony.