In the fifth game of bracket play in the East Coast Open at Greenwich Polo Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, White Birch faced-off against Goose Creek. Both teams were undefeated following Saturday’s opening day of play. The game began with an instant goal for White Birch out of the line-up; Hilario Ulloa made a neckshot to Mariano Aguerre who scored. Tomas Garcia del Rio began the scoring for Goose Creek with a penalty 3 conversion to tie the score. White Birch finished out the first chukker with another goal from the line-up in a classic play between Ulloa to Aguerre, tying the score 2-all. The two teams continued to trade goals, and the second chukker ended 5-4 in favor of White Birch. Marcos Garcia del Rio of Goose Creek received his second yellow flag at the end of the second chukker due to excessive appealing and he was forced to sit out for two minutes. The third chukker was marked by fouls from both teams. Goose Creek was only able to capitalize on one of the five penalties they were awarded. White Birch on the other hand, with the steadfast Ulloa converted both a penalty 2 and 3 to take the lead 7-5 going into the half.
White Birch players Mariano Aguerre and Hilario Ulloa walking off the field after their win. Photo: Chichi Ubina
The fourth chukker action highlighted the talent of 9-goaler Ulloa who scored three unanswered goals. Two goals from penalties and one goal from the field widened the gap with Goose Creek trailing by five. A low scoring fifth chukker, one goal from each team, maintained the differential—White Birch in the lead 11-6. Goose Creek refused to give up and two quick goals in the sixth and final chukker from Tomas Garcia del Rio and Mariano Gonzalez had the team mounting a comeback. Ulloa, however, quelled their offensive strike with two goals of his own. A third goal for White Birch came from Peter Brant (his second goal of the game) who crushed the ball through the uprights on a flashy gray horse. With 2:28 seconds left in regulation time, Goose Creek managed to put one more goal on the board from Gonzalez leaving White Birch victorious with a final score of 14-9.
Bracket I Bracket II
A: Postage Stamp Farm (1-0) E: Goose Creek (1-1)
B: Airstream (0-1) F: Faraway Polo (0-1)
C: Audi (1-0) G: Beluga (0-1)
D: Tupungato (0-1) H: White Birch (2-0)
The East Coast Open will continue tomorrow with two games — Audi will take on Tupungato at 10am ET and Airstream will play Postage Stamp Farm at 4pm ET.
Complete game schedule and team rosters here
All East Coast Open games will be livestreamed on ChukkerTV. NBC Sports Network will rebroadcast the East Coast Open Finals on September 17 at 3:00pm ET.