Tonkawa holds on to win Wanderers Classic in 12-11
Jeff Hildebrandâ€™s Tonkawa polo team looked like world
beaters Saturday afternoon when they took the field against a seemingly
out-manned Mt. Brilliant/Equine Law Group in the finals of the 14-goal
Wanderers Classic as they ran up a first chukker 4-0 score on their way to the
Fifteen-year-old Agustin Arellano scored the first goal
of the game in the opening seconds when he carried the opening throw-in down
the field to give Tonkawa a 1-0 lead.
Brandon Phillips scored minutes later followed by a pair of goals from
Nic Roldan for the 4-0 score.
Mt. Brilliant/Equine Law Group opened the second chukker
with a penalty goal from Bo Goodman who finally got his team on the scoreboard,
but Hildebrand responded by taking the ensuing throw-in and racing down the
field for his first goal of the day and a 5-1 lead. Roldan sent a cut shot through the goal posts
from 70 yards out to make it 6-1. Goals
from Julian Daniels and Goodman closed out the period with Tonkawa in front,
Brandon Phillips scored less than three minutes into the
third chukker on a goal from the field and followed up with a 30-yard penalty
conversion to put Tonkawa in front by five goals, 8-3. Kris Kampsen kept Mt. Brilliant/Equine Law
Group in the mix by scoring on two penalty shots. At the end of the first half Tonkawa enjoyed
a three goal, 8-5 advantage.
A re-focused Mt. Brilliant/Equine Law Group team took the
field in the second half with a new strategy, and it began to pay off
â€œThey couldnâ€™t play with us in a run-and-gun style of
play,â€ said Roldan, â€œso they tried slowing it down, playing side to side,â€
Consecutive goals from Daniels cut the lead to a single
goal, 8-7. Phillips scored his third
goal of the game to end the period with Tonkawa leading, 9-7.
Roldan stole the ball from Kampsen at midfield in the
opening seconds of the fifth chukker and raced unchallenged down the field for
a goal, 10-7. Kampsen answered with a
goal of his own moments later, 10-8. At
the 1:55 mark of the period, Jeff Hildebrand took a pass from the throw-in and
charged down the field for a goal, 11-8.
Goodman retaliated with a closing goal on another long run. With one chukker left to play, Tonkawa
remained in front, 11-9.
A costly foul by Mt. Brilliant/Equine Law Group resulted
in a penalty goal scored by Hildebrand, and Tonkawa found itself with a 12-9
lead. Kampsen scored a goal from the
field with 4:40 left in regulation time, and the lead was cut to two goals,
12-10. Tonkawa fouled in the goal mouth,
and Kampsen converted the shot for another goal with 1:25 left on the
clock. The Tonkawa defense checked in
for the final minute of play, denying the Mt. Brilliant/Equine Law Group attack
and preserving the victory, 12-11.
â€œIt was a total team win,â€ offered Roldan after the
match. â€œEveryone did their job, everyone
contributed,â€ he added.
Roldan was named MVP for his efforts while Aruba, a
nine-year-old light Bay owned and played by Brandon Phillips received Best
Playing Pony honors.
Phillips and Roldan led the Tonkawa attack with four
goals apiece. Hildebrand scored three
times and Arellano added a goal for the win.
Kampsen led the Mt. Brilliant/Equine Law Group offense with four
goals. Goodman and Daniels scored three
goals each in the loss.