Circa WinsHampton Cup
By Alex Webbe
Chris DelGattoâ€™s talented but upstart Circa team unseated a powerful White Birchfoursome Saturday morning in an 8-6 contest at the Bridgehampton Polo Club onLong Island to capture the 2011 Hampton Cup in the final high-goal match of theseason at the New York club.
Circareceived one goal by handicap from the 20-goal White Birch team (taking thefield with Adam Lindemann taking the place of team captain Peter Brant), but a60-yard penalty conversion by Mariano Aguerre quickly knotted it up at1-1. Magoo Laprida scored Circaâ€™s firstgoal from the field, but Aguerre responded with his second goal of the chukkerand after the first seven minutes of play the score was all even at 2-2.
Martin Pepaâ€™sfirst goal of the game put Circa up 3-2 in what was developing into adefensively-oriented contest. Aguerremanaged to level the score at 3-3 with his third goal of the game.
Laprida gaveCirca a 4-3 lead as he opened the third chukker with a goal from thefield. A Circa foul gave White Birch ascoring opportunity on a penalty shot that Fred Mannix converted for another,4-4. Guille Aguero closed out thescoring in the chukker with a goal that gave Circa a narrow 5-4 halftime lead.
White Birchregrouped for the second half, pressing the Circa defense. Three defensive Circa fouls put White Birchat the penalty line again, with Mannix making good on two of them. White Birch took a 6-5 lead, shutting outCirca for the first time all day.
Bothdefenses tightened in the fifth chukker. White birch missed a 40-yard penalty opportunity with Circa blowing a60-yard penalty shot. Pepaâ€™s second goalof the game accounted for the only scoring in the fifth, and the teams took a6-6 score into the final period of play.
As rigid asthe Circa defense was in the fifth chukker, it tightened up even more in thesixth. For the second straight chukkerthe high-scoring White Birch attack was held scoreless with Pepa scoring twogoals from the field for the 8-6 win.
Pepa led allscoring with four goals. Laprida scoredtwice and Aguero added a goal in the win. Circa received one goal by handicap. All seven of Circaâ€™s goals came from the field as they missed on threepenalty shots.
Mannix andAguerre provided all of the scoring for White birch with three goalsapiece. Five of the White Birch goalscame on penalty shots. White Birchmissed converting two 6-yard penalty shots and two 40-yard penalty attempts.
Martin Pepa Was named MVP and Magoo Laprida’s mare, Lucy, was named Best Playing Pony.