Tonkawa Defeats Modere to Claim 2018 Joe Barry Cup
The finals of the 2018 Joe Barry Cup was a showcase between the two remaining undefeated teams, with Tonkawa ultimately victorious, defeating Modere 12-9 on the Engel & Volkers Field at International Polo Club Palm Beach.
Tonkawa used a dominant first half to build a 6-2 lead, behind five goals from Sapo Caset along with high pressure defence from Sterling Giannico, who pestered Hilario Ulloa throughout the game. The physical game from Tonkawa in the first half raised tension among the players as Caset, Giannico and Ulloa all found themselves with a yellow card before the end of the third chukka. While both teams had their scoring opportunities early in the game, Tonkawa was able to take advatange of their chances, while Modere shot just 2 for 8 in the first half and missed their only penalty attempt. The style of play set by Tonkawa seemed to frustrate the Modere team as they needed a change in strategy at halftime to find their way back into the game.
Modere quickly cut the deficit to two, by bringing Jared Zenni forward and leaving Agustin Obregon to protect defensively. A four-goal fourth chukka for Modere, behind perfect 2 for 2 shooting from the field and penalty line, began to bring Modere back into the game. Forcing Tonkawa into a combined six fouls in the fourth and fifth chukkas, placed Ulloa on the penalty line where he converted all four attempts to tie the game at 8-8 with one chukka remaining in a close exciting contest to determine the 2018 Joe Barry Cup.
Tonkawa quickly jumped on Modere to begin the chukka using a well-played knock-in to run the length of the field and re-take the lead. While Ulloa continued to push to increase his goal total from his seven goals already in the game, a missed penalty 3 late in the game all but sealed the victory. Modere was unable to create chances late while Caset added his eighth goal of the game along with another goal from de Lusarreta in a 3-0 final chukka for Tonkawa.
In the end, the Tonkawa side, consisting of Jeff Hildebrand, Sterling Giannico, Sapo Caset and Julian de Lusarreta, were able to overcome foul trouble throughout the second half to finish their undefeated run through the tournament with the 12-9 victory over Modere to claim the 2018 Joe Barry Cup.