Santa Clara Wins 2021 Debut in Joe Barry Memorial
Wellington, FL – January 10, 2021 – For the second consecutive game in the 2021 Joe Barry Memorial, Beverly Polo found themselves in overtime, this time against Santa Clara, who was making their 2021 debut at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. After tying the game in the final seconds, Santa Clara’s Keko Magrini scored the overtime winning goal just one minute and 45 seconds into overtime, securing the 11-10 victory on the Home of the U.S. Polo Assn – Field 1.
A Santa Clara team featuring father-son duos of Magrini’s and Escobar’s excelled in their first game of the season, led by the young kids, Keko Magrini and Lucas Escobar, who finished with four and five goals, respectively. Shooting an efficient 67 percent from the field, Santa Clara overcame a slow start to challenge a Beverly Polo team that relied on the penalty shooting of Tolito Ocampo and four field goals from Lucas Diaz Alberdi. Late foul trouble for both teams sent the game to the penalty line, but after late penalty conversions for both teams, it was an exciting run by Santa Clara to goal that was completed for the thrilling 11-10 victory.
Conceding one goal on handicap, Santa Clara quickly erased the deficit, marching downfield from a knock-in to tie the game at 1-1 on a goal from Lucas Escobar. Beverly Polo controlled play throughout the rest of the opening chukker by producing four shots at goal but converted just one along with one goal from the penalty line to hold the 3-1 advantage. The continued pressure of Beverly Polo extended their lead further, led by the efforts of two field goals from Alberdi in his best game of the season so far. A penalty 4 conversion for Keko Magrini ignited some momentum for Santa Clara as they pulled within one on Luis Escobar’s first goal of the game. Ocampo edged Beverly Polo back ahead by two to end the first half with his team holding the 6-4 lead.
Missing just one shot in the first half, Santa Clara carried their accurate shooting into the second half while generating more opportunities at goal, helping them bring the game even. Luis and Lucas Escobar combined for three goals in the fourth chukker, turning a two-goal deficit into a tied 7-7 score with two chukkers remaining. The game moved to the penalty line over the final two chukkas as the hard-fought game resulted in six penalty attempts between the two teams in the final stages. Relying on their two young players, Santa Clara remained even with Beverly Polo on conversions from Lucas Escobar and Keko Magrini, while Beverly Polo’s Ocampo scored from the field and the penalty line, leaving the game deadlocked at 9-9. As the clock ticked down, Ocampo converted a crucial penalty 4, leaving Beverly Polo just minutes from their second victory, but with seconds left Santa Clara was sent to the penalty line with an opportunity to send the game into overtime. The initial penalty attempt from Lucas Escobar went wide but was tipped in front of goal. Jumping on the loose ball, Keko Magrini sent the game into overtime on the thrilling final play.
Withstanding an early Beverly Polo attack, Santa Clara hit a long pass downfield to start an open run to goal. Fighting a bouncing ball, Santa Clara left the ball in front of goal and it was Keko Magrini who came through in the clutch for the second time, sending a shot through the goal and securing the 11-10 overtime victory for Santa Clara. For his four-goal performance, Ocampo was awarded Most Valuable Player while Matias Magrini’s Don Ercole Elite captured Best Playing Pony.