A three goal differential can be burdensome.
But, imagine being down by three goals before the opening bowl-in. Crestview was faced with the encumbrance of a three goal deficit because of the handicap differential in the finals Sunday of the New Bridge USPA Pete Bostwick Memorial 12-goal. A strong second half by Crestview would give them a 14-13 victory.
However, with Crestview having their work thoroughly defined, it was imperative for them to get off to a good start, and they did so with Santi Torres scoring the game’s first goal from the field. Crestview made some adjustments to their lineup with Torres moving to forward, after playing at the no. 2 position for the better part of the tournament.
Foxdale Equine Services/Myco responded, with a goal from the player earning Most Valuable Player honors, the quarterback of the team, and the player who dictated the pace of the play for much of the game, Julian Daniels. Crestview’s Pelon Escapite kept the game close with a successful 30-yard penalty shot.
Crestview’s pressing need for offense found them creating additional opportunities, and they would reduce the lead to to a one goal margin as Alan Meeker finished a play started by Santi Torres.
However, the game saw a number of overly ambitious feeds and deep drives into the opposition’s zone, but whether or not the teams were able to capitalize was a totally different story. Foxdale Equine Services/Myco made the most of their opportunities, with one player in particular providing the catalyst. Will Tankard’s three goal chukker, that saw him score one goal from the field, and two on successful penalty conversions, gave the team some breathing room. But, Crestview persevered and began to get off the mat as Santi Torres scored from the ensuing bowl-in after the third of Tankard’s goals. Crestview kept the pressure on with another deep drive, but failed to score.
At no time did either team exhibit so much flash that it took away from the players attention to detail. Crestview’s teamwork began clicking late in the second chukker, and their patience began to create scoring opportunities. Pelon Escapite successfully converted a 30-yard penalty shot. Foxdale Equine Services/Myco’s Julian Daniels took the ball half the length of the field, while being closely marked, and finished the play. Tankard picked up his fourth goal of the first half, converting a 30-yard penalty shot. Crestview’s ability to withstand the early storm, enabled them to regroup and direct their focus toward changing the momentum of the game, and it was teamwork that resulted in a goal for Santi Torres, to reduce the deficit to three goals.
Crestview won the second half’s opening bowl-in, but it was Foxdale Equine Services/Myco scoring first it the fourth chukker, as Will Tankard continued to be lethal with his penalty shots. Tankard also was solid defensively stifling several scoring opportunities. But, the script flipped. Crestview would score five consecutive goals, taking advantage of Foxdale Equine Services/Myco’s new alignment on the bowl-ins. Santi Torres worked through dense. heavy traffic that had set up in front of the goal mouth to score. Crestview would continue its torrid scoring pace, with Escapite finishing a play started by Torres. The margin would be reduced to one goal late in the chukker as Escapite scored on a 60-yard penalty conversion.
“We forced them to change,” said Escapite. “We played more of a zone defense early in the game, and decided that it wasn’t working for us, so we began going to the man, and they had to change the way they were aligned during the bowl-ins. The adjustment helped us a lot because we had been losing the bowl-ins.”
It was different times and different circumstances in the second half as Crestview continued their amazing transformation. Escapite’s successful 30-yard penalty conversion tied the game. Foxdale Equine Services/Myco had an outstanding scoring opportunity with Daniels feeding Joe Meyer, but the shot would go wide right of the goal mouth. Pelon Escapite gave Crestview their first lead of the game, the direct result of a successful penalty no. 2. However, that did nothing to stop the intrepid Julian Daniels, who managed to score, despite being marked closely by two defenders.
The goal breathed new life into Foxdale Equine Services/Myco as Hugh Worsham stole the ball in the opposition’s territory, and an attempted give-and-go with Daniels, created a scoring opportunity, for Daniels, providing Foxdale Equine Services/Myco with a one goal advantage. However, Crestview tied the game on another successful penalty shot by Escapite.
Crestview’s well-disciplined approach during the final chukker of play saw several foul calls going their way. Escapite launched a 60-yard penalty shot through the uprights, and would follow that with a successful 30-yard penalty conversion. Tankard reduced the deficit to one goal with 1:54 remaining.
“We saved our best horses for the second half,” said Escapite. “Julian does such a good job in organizing his horses.”
Foxdale Equine Services/Myco’s Hugh Worsham’s Walter the Wall was selected as the Best Playing Amatuer Pony, and Julian Daniels’ Cobra was named Best Playing Professional Pony.