Crestview’s first game in the USPA Pete Bostwick Memorial 12-goal at New Bridge Polo and Country Club Thursday afternoon found the team making a series of adjustments.
It would be a strong second half that would propel Crestview to a 9-4 victory.
A less than auspicious start found Crestview facing a two goal deficit in the second chukker against a determined Dahlwood team as the Onetto brothers, Horacio and Marcos, intuitive playmaking abilities created a series of offensive opportunities. David Wigdahl scored the game’s first goal goal from the field in the opening chukker.
But, Crestview began to reverse the course of the game as Pelon Escapite, Santi Torres, Alan Meeker and Pedro Manion started the turn around.
A successful 30-yard penalty conversion by Agustin Arellano in the second chukker may have been the catalyst to spark Crestivew. The ensuing bowl-in found Escapite finding an open Torres, who went onto finish the play, reducing the deficit to one goal.
Dahlwood wouldn’t be outdone and demonstrated their own flair for the dramatic as Marcos Onetto’s mallet skill saw him carry the ball the better part of the field, providing Dahlwood with a two goal cushion. However, Crestview’s Pelon Escapite would answer back, with great precision as his penalty shot from 30 yards out made it a one goal game.
Crestview began to find their groove, and as the game went on their ability to read the oncoming play, stifle the opposition, and create offensive opportunities, started to shift the game’s momentum. Torres and Escapite used their slick playmaking skills to take control of the third chukker, highlighted by an 85-yard goal by Escapite, his second of the period. Dahlwood’s persistence and patience allowed them to tie the game late in the third period as Wigdahl picked up his second goal.
It became apparent as the game went on that Crestview was becoming more comfotable, and their deploying of a zone defense rather than playing man-to-man, would yield the results they had anticipated.
Pelon Escapite scored what proved to be the game winning goal on a successful penalty conversion during the fourth chukker.
“We were pretty accurate with our passes and shots on goal,” said Escapite. “We tried to get the game going in the first half, but we played our better horses over the last three chukkers, and that made a difference. We were playing a zone game. Alan took David (Wigdahl) nice and tight, and Santi and I played a zone defense.”
But, it was the next goal that seemed to have spectators awestruck, as Pedro Manion’s defensive play and clearing pass to Santi Torres, whose ball control and speed, allowed him to break away and give Crestview a commanding lead.
A steady approach in the second half gave Crestivew a defining three goal lead going into the final chukker as Manion scored his first goal of the game in the penultimate period.
Pelon Escapite was able to shake a defender while being closely marked to provide a four goal cushion during the final period, with his fifth tally of the afternoon. A successful penalty conversion by Alan Meeker late in the game punctuated the winning the effort.