Teamwork and classic polo.
Auto Tech/Aiken Horse has been an unstoppable force during it’s first two games in the Aiken Polo Club’s USPA Campbell Cup, and Thursday afternoon’s victory against Las Vinas at Whitney Field was no different.
Auto Tech/Aiken Horse defeated High Cotton 8-3 last Sunday, and they approached Thursday’s game knowing that their preparedness was essential. Their organization and readiness paid huge dividends in a 17-3 win.
A one goal deficit at the game’s start did nothing to deter Auto Tech/Aiken Horse’s well balanced attack. Every player on the Auto Tech/Aiken Horse roster scored during the game’s first chukker, with Pam Gleason opening the scoring, the first of her five goals in the game, all from the field. Gleason was followed in succession by Karen Reese, by way of a penalty conversion, and then goals from the field by Courtney Asdourian and Tess Pimsner.
A focus on building team cohesion in the second chukker saw Reese, Pimsner, Asdourian and Gleason score in succession. Las Vinas, through the hard work of Stacie Rodriguez, Amy Wisehart, Jolie Liston and Slaney O’Hanlon, broke through, with the latter scoring from the field. Asdourian would tack on another goal providing Auto Tech/Aiken Horse with a seven goal advantage going into the half.
“There’s a lot of teamwork, and everyone is involved,” said Reese. “When one person overrides a play, they’re checking in and getting back in. It’s classic polo.”
Auto Tech/Aiken Horse continued to play with ramped up intensity, winning the second half’s opening bowl-in, and it was the ubiquitous Courtney Asdourian scoring her fourth goal of the game, with eyes firmly focused on the uprights. Las Vinas responded as Amy Wisehart successfully converted a penalty no. 4. However, Auto Tech/Aiken Horse kept capitalizing on every opportunity as Pimsner scored her third goal of the game, the first of seven that would go unanswered.
The same intensity and thought process that brought Auto Tech/Aiken Horse so much success during the previous three periods was readily apparent in the game’s final chukker. Asdourian opened the final frame’s scoring, but it was Pam Gleason’s hat trick, another goal by Asdourian, and the game’s final scoring effort by Karen Reese that placed emphatic punctuation on the team’s creativity.
“It’s tough to come into a new town and play with people you haven’t played with before,” said Reese. “We have the same situation. Courtney and I have played together, but the four of us haven’t played together as a team. For some reason, we’re just clicking. It’s good luck.”