Coming off tough overtime losses in their first games of the Iglehart Cup, the matchup between Goose Creek and Tonkawa was a critical game for both teams. Tonkawa rode home with the spoils, taking a 10-8 win at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC).
Heading into Friday’s game, the highest goal total of the 2017 season belonged to Tonkawa’s Sapo Caset—and he showed exactly why that was by scoring 3 goals in the opening chukker to give his team a 3-1 lead. Caset finished the game with seven goals on the day to increase his season total to 76 through 12 games.
Tonkawa controlled play throughout the first half, with Caset all over the field wherever you looked. Facundo Obregon displayed strong positioning, providing either support or backup for Caset as he attacked goal.
Goose Creek needed a complete team defense to slow down Caset, with some nice plays from Maureen Brennan and Tomas Garcia del Rio to steal the ball. But Tonkawa was relentless, with Obregon scoring back-to-back goals in the second chukker to increase Tonkawa’s lead. Throughout the first half, Tonkawa shot at goal twice as many times as Goose Creek (8/4), as they controlled possession and provided Goose Creek with very few opportunities to score.
As has happened in their previous games, Goose Creek came out strong in the fourth chukker. Mariano Gonzalez scored a goal from the penalty line and another from the field to get Goose Creek back within a couple goals. Gonzalez has been one of the strongest penalty shooters this season, entering the game shooting 71.4%. Tonkawa was very effective at keeping him off the penalty line, as Gonzalez only had two penalty attempts through five chukkers.
Holding a 9-5 lead going into the final chukker, Goose Creek began to increase the pressure and forced Tonkawa into committing 5 fouls. That provided Gonzalez with 3 penalty attempts, all of which he made, finishing a perfect 5-for-5 from the penalty line. However, Tonkawa had built up a large enough lead throughout the game to hold onto a 10-8 victory.
The Iglehart Cup continues Saturday at IPC, when Mt Brilliant plays La Indiana.
All games in the 2017 Iglehart Cup are live streamed on the USPA Polo Network: uspolo.org.
Game report, stats and photographs provided by International Polo Club Palm Beach.