Heathcote wins opening game of East Coast Open

wins opening game of 2013 East Coast Open

Alex Webbe

A full day of polo was on hand at the Greenwich Polo Club
on Sunday with a morning contest in the 2013 East Coast Open featuring Heathcote
(Steve Lefkowitz, Naco Taverna, Tommy Biddle and Nick Manifold) and Airstream
(Peter Orthwein, Kris Kampsen, Guille Aguero and Mariano Gonzalez) followed by
a game in the 20-goal Tommy Glynn Memorial Cup with Cinque Terre (Alessandro
Bazzoni, Gringo Colombres, Joao Ganon and Brandon Phillips) against a re-shuffled
White Birch lineup (Felipe Viana, Naco Taverna, Matias Magrini and Remy

In the morning contest Heathcote won the opening match of
2013 East Coast Open in a back and forth game. 
Rebounding from a 9-7 halftime deficit, HeathcotehhhhH Heathcote scored a 12-11 win over

The 17-goal Heathcote team received three goals by
handicap from the 20-goal Airstream lineup, but watched as Mariano Gonzalez
scored the first goal from the field. 
Tommy Biddle converted a 60-yard penalty shot to put Heathcote ahead,
4-1.  Guille Aguero scored the final goal
of the chukker but trailed 4-2.

Kris Kampsen scored twice from the field and once on a
penalty shot for Airstream, but a pair of goals from Heathcote team captain
Steve Lefkowitz (one on a penalty shot) and a penalty goal from Biddle
preserved the two goal Heathcote lead, 7-5.

Airstream owned the field in the third chukker.  Kampsen scored three consecutive goals (two
on penalty shots) and Aguero scored a fourth goal from the field.  Heathcote was unable to get on the scoreboard
in the third, giving up the lead to Airstream, 9-7.

“I’m not really sure what happened,” said Biddle.  “We were playing well together and then all
of a sudden we were trailing.  I know we
missed a number of easy shots on the goal, but don’t have a real clear answer
as to why we fell behind.”

Biddle scored the opening goal of the second half,
cutting the Airstream lead to a single goal, 9-8, but it wasn’t enough.  Kampsen converted a 30-yard penalty shot
followed by a goal from the field from Gonzalez.  The fourth chukker ended with Airstream
leading, 11-8.

The Heathcote defense stepped it up in the fifth,
shutting down the Airstream attack, but managed just one goal on a shot from
the field from Biddle.  Airstream
continued to lead, 11-9, going into the final chukker.

Once again, the Heathcote defense did their jobs.  For the second straight chukker the Airstream
offense was unable to score.  Naco
Taverna scored his first goal of the game to cut the Airstream lead to a single
goal, 11-10.  Biddle followed up with a
pair of goals from the field for the 12-11 win.

Kampsen led all scoring with seven goals (four on penalty
shots).  Aguero and Gonzalez added two
goals each in a losing effort.  Biddle
led the Heathcote attack with six goals (two on penalty shots), including the
tying and winning goals in the sixth chukker. 
Lefkowitz scored twice and Taverna added a goal for the win.


The Greenwich Polo Club’s 3PM contest pitted Cinque Terre
(Alessandro Bazzoni, Gringo Colombres, Joao Ganon and Brandon Phillips) against
an irregular White Birch lineup that included only one member of its original
lineup (Matias Magrini).  filling out the
roster for the day were Felipe Viana (4), Naco Taverna (6) and Remy Muller (2)
in the last of the preliminary 20-goal Tommy Glynn Memorial Cup.

Cinque Terre received one goal by handicap from the
20-goal White Birch team and quickly added to it.  Brazilian 7-goaler Joao Ganon converted a
penalty shot followed by a goal from the field from Gringo Colombres for an
early 3-1 advantage.  White responded
with consecutive goals from Naco Taverna, Matias Magrini (penalty conversion)
and Felipe Viana (penalty conversion). 
The first chukker ended in a 3-3 tie.

Cinque Terre got into their rhythm in the second period,
outscoring White Birch 4-1 on a pair of goals from Colombres and single goals
from Ganon and team captain Alessandro Bazzoni. 
Magrini managed the only goal for White Birch as Cinque Terre rode off
with a 7-4 lead.

The makeshift White Birch team got their groove on in the
third.  Former 10-goaler Magrini scored
four consecutive goals (one on a penalty shot) and Viana added a penalty goal
as they combined shutout defense with an unstoppable offense.  At the end of the first half, White Birch was
in front by two goals, 9-7.

“We really weren’t playing that well in the first half,”
offered Cirque Terre’s Brandon Phillips. 
“We were struggling to get the team to gel, in the second half it
happened,” he beamed.  “I feel real good
about our chances moving forward.”

The Cinque Terre defense did its job in the fourth,
shutting down the White Birch attack, but only picked up one goal (Colombres).  With two chukkers left to play, White Birch led
by a single goal, 9-8.

Goals continued to be hard to come by in the fifth.  Magrini scored his seventh goal of the game
for White Birch’s only production of the chukker while Ganon responded with a
goal for Cinque Terre.  Cinque Terre
continued to trail, 10-9.

“I thought we had it going our way in the second half,”
said Ganon.  “We had good ball movement
and the pace was fast.  I really thought
we were going to be able to take the lead back.”

Magrini opened the sixth chukker by converting a 60-yard
penalty shot to put White Birch in the lead by two goals, 11-9, when Cinque
Terre fought their way back into the game. 
Consecutive goals from the field by Phillips had it all even with time
running out.  A great individual effort
by Magrini gave White Birch the go-ahead goal, and time expired on a determined
Cinque Terre foursome.

“We might have lost,” said Phillips, “but I really think
we have the team figured out now, and I know that we’re going to be playing
better with every game.”

The semifinals of the Tommy Glynn Memorial Cup are
scheduled to be played on Wednesday, July 3 with White Birch meeting Heathcote
and Cinque Terre facing Airstream-times to be determined.

The balance of the schedule for the East Coast Open has
yet to be determined.