In a game of runs, Tonkawa established dominance early on with patron Jeff Hildebrand scoring the first two goals. It looked like it was all over at the end of the first chukker after Tonkawa made six unanswered goals behind 5 of 8 shooting and converted their single penalty attempt. La Indiana, meanwhile, attempted only one shot at goal.
The second chukker was just about the polar opposite. La Indiana came out firing on 12 cylinders and kept Tonkawa off the board for the entire chukker. La Indiana made four consecutive goals, including a beautiful cut shot from distance by Gringo Colombres. (Colombres replaced Australian Ruki Baillieu for the season after Baillieu broke his collarbone in practice last week.)
Young Costi Caset, a member of Team USPA, put in an impressive performance from start to finish. Caset doggedly marked former 10-goaler Mike Azzaro while making three goals of his own on the day. Azzaro scampered into goal in the second chukker with Caset about to climb into his hip pocket. Later in the game Caset snatched a ball out of the air like a cat bagging a bird.
Leading 7-5 to begin the second half, Tonkawa regained their footing with strong fourth and fifth chukkers. They capitalized on seven La Indiana fouls, making three penalty goals and notching two more from the field.
Trailing by four heading into the sixth (12-8), La Indiana needed a big chukker—and they accomplished just that by winning 5 of 7 throw-ins and putting pressure on the Tonkawa defense, forcing them into fouls. Behind penalty shooting from Jeff Hall and Azzaro, La Indiana scored three goals from the penalty line while making two field goals in a 5-goal final chukker.
After a clutch penalty conversion from Hall on a 60-yard penalty shot to tie the score with 60 seconds left, it looked like the game was headed into overtime. However, after winning the throw-in, 10-goaler Sapo Caset proved why he is one of the elite players in the sport. Leaving everyone in the dust, he burst down the field to make the game-winning goal with less than 30 seconds on the clock. Tonkawa improved their record to 2-0 in the tournament and earned a bye to the semifinals.
The second game of the day had just gotten off to a 1-all tie in the first chukker when the skies unleashed a British-style downpour. The match between Villa del Lago Modere and Mt. Brilliant was postponed to an undetermined date.
The Joe Barry Memorial continues Sunday with two games. Goose Creek faces Postage Stamp at noon, and Grand Champions Polo Club opposes Coca Cola in the featured match at 3 pm.
Prof. Paola Maldonado
News: Kayla Anderson, IPC Press
PH: David Lominska