A second half adjustment found Crestview hitting the ball more, and that proved to be the difference.
Crestview continued their winning ways with a a 10-9 victory over Barrington Saturday afternoon in the New Bridge USPA Tommy Hitchcock Jr. Memorial 12-goal at Crestview.
It was the first game of the tournament for both teams. and Barrington wanted to get off to a sharper start, already being up by two goals as a result of the handicap differential. Barrington was also faced with the challenge of playing with different personnel, Cissie Snow for Barb Uskup and Jake Stimmel for Justin Pimsner.
Barrington, won the opening bowl-in, and started the scoring as Owen Rinehart successfully converted a penalty shot, lofting a 60-yarder with great precision through the uprights. Both teams had additional opportunties early in the period, but their sequences would come up short for a variety of reasons. Crestview’s Pelon Escapite would engineer a play from the knock-in, and Pedro Manion would showcase his offensive ability, taking control of the ball and dictating the play, evenutally finishing it, to reduce the Barrington advantage to two goals. Crestview would lose the ensuing bowl-in, but their patient approach allowed them to gain possession, and this time, it was Manion threading a pass to Escapite, who would finish the play. Crestview continued their relentless pursuit of the ball, and Escapite. despite being closely marked, was able to tie the game on a backshot.
However, the game was complete with momentum swings and surges, and Barrington’s Owen Rinehart and Antonio Galvan’s open running style of play was an effective resource. Rinehart would score from the field, and then add another goal on a 60-yard penalty shot to provide Barrington with some momentary breathing room. Barrington’s tenacious teamwork found Galvan and Rinehart engineering another sequence of plays, but it was Stimmel finishing the play, in a chukker where Crestview was held scoreless.
However, Crestview demonstrated an intangible throughout the USPA Pete Bostwick Memorial, mental toughness, and they were able to withstand the fierce early pressure from Barrington. Crestview would cut the deficit to two goals on a successful penalty no. 2 by Pelon Escapite. But, the final goal of the first half was scored by Antonio Galvan, on a breakaway, providing Barrington with a 7-4 advantage after three chukkers.
Barrington won the opening bowl-in of the second half, but their sequence of plays had an unsuccessful finish. Barrington would have another scoring opportunity, and it appeared that a Jake Stimmel backshot was going to go through the goal posts, but a quick thinking Pelon Escapite’s presence of mind, precluded what looked like it would be a sure goal, with an outstanding defensive play in front of the uprights. And, it would be Escapite scoring on a penalty no. 4 from 60 yards out, that would reduce the deficit to two goals. Crestview directed their energies to playing in the moment, and didn’t think about the numbers on the scoreboard, or the insurmountable odds one faces when being down by a number of goals. However, it wasn’t a question as to whether or not Barrington was fresh and ready as Antonio Galvan’s confident play, enabled him to score while being marked by several players, on a play started during the ensuing bowl in, one that was in response to Escapite’s goal.
Crestview’s emphasis on ball control was in sharp contrast to Barrington’s wide open style, and Manion’s and Meeker’s ability to open the field, provided Escapite and Torres with more time to dictate the pace of the play. A breakaway by Torres was thwarted as Rinehart backed the ball away. However, it was a foul in front of a congested goal mouth, one that resulted in a successful penalty shot by Meeker, that would bring Crestview to within a goal.
“We started hitting the ball a little bit more,” said Escapite. “We tried to have Alan and Pedro open the field a little more because in the first half, we had been maintaining possession of the ball too much, and that strategy wasn’t working. We opened the game, and it worked.”
A meaningful goal, one by Crestview, the one that would tie the game, saw Escapite move the ball more than 100 yards into the opposition’s territory, eventually finishing the play. And it was teamowrk that gave Crestview their first lead of the game, with Escapite assisting on Santi Torres’ goal with 37 seconds remaining in the chukker.
Pelon Escapite’s backshot in the final chukker, would end up being the game winner, as Barrington’s Galvan finished the game’s scoring on a successful penalty no. 2.