by U.S. Polo Correspondent Alex Webbe
Tomas Goti continued to play at a blistering pace as he scored eight goals in Lechuza’s (Victor Vargas, Mariano Gracida, Juan Martin Nero and Tomas Goti) 15-11 win over Heathcote (Steve Lefkowitz, Naco Taverna, Tommy Biddle and Nick Manifold) Sunday in continuing play in the 2013 Monty Waterbury Cup at the Bridgehampton Polo Club. The loss was Heathcote’s third in a row while Lechuza improved their record to 2-1.
Heathcote received three goals on handicap from the 20-goal Lechuza lineup, but Tomas Goti, fittingly enough, scored the first goal from the field. Nick Manifold ran the score to 4-1 with a goal for Heathcote, but Goti converted a penalty shot to end the chukker with Heathcote in the lead, 4-2. Everything seemed to be going right for Goti in the second as he reeled off three consecutive goals to give Lechuza their first lead of the game, 5-4. Tommy Biddle converted a 30-yard penalty shot to end the period in a 5-5 deadlock. Goti opened the third chukker with a goal from the field followed by a 40-yard penalty conversion from Biddle. The score remained tied at 6-6. Mariano Gracida closed out the scoring in the first half with a go-ahead goal for Lechuza. At the end of the third chukker Lechuza held a narrow 7-6 advantage.
Heathcote team captain Steve Lefkowitz tied it at 7-7 with the opening goal of the fourth. A 60-yard penalty shot by Goti gave the lead back to Lechuza, 8-7. Juan Martin Nero scored his first goal of the game to extend the Lechuza lead to two goals, 9-7. Biddle converted another penalty goal for Heathcote to end the chukker. Lechuza held on to their one goal, 9-8 lead.
For the second time in the game, Lefkowitz scored the opening goal of the chukker, and for the second time in the game, his goal tied it up, 9-9. Lechuza countered with a penalty goal from Nero and a goal from the field from Goti to edge Heathcote, 11-9. Naco Taverna slipped past the Lechuza defense for a gal for Heathcote, 11-10. Lechuza team captain Victor Vargas scored the final goal of the chukker as Lechuza rode off the field on top of a 12-10 score. Nero opened the sixth chukker with his third goal of the day, 13-10, followed by consecutive goals from Vargas, 15-10. Lefkowitz scored the final goal of the game as Lechuza rode off with the 15-11 victory.
In the last of the preliminary rounds of play in the 2013 Monty Waterbury Cup, Equuleus (Joe DiMenna, Martin Pepa, Magoo Laprida and Mariano Gonzalez) beat previously undefeated White Birch (Del Walton, Joao Ganon, Matias Magrini and Peter Brant) by the score of 10-8.
Equuleus scored the first two goals of the game on penalty shots, with Mariano Gonzalez converting from 30-yards and 40-yards, 2-0. Joao Ganon scored a goal from the field for White birch, 2-1, with a final goal coming from Gonzalez to put Equuleus ahead, 3-1. Del Walton and Matias Magrini scored from the field for White Birch in the opening minutes of the second period to tie it up at 3-3. Magoo Laprida tallied for Equuleus and Gonzalez scored on another penalty shot for a 5-3 advantage. Laprida and Ganon exchanged single goals in the third chukker. White Birch trailed by two goals, 6-4 at the end of the first half.
Goals continued to be elusive in the fourth. Ganon converted a 60-yard penalty shot for a goal and Gonzalez added another from the field. Equuleus continued to lead by two goals, 7-5. The back-and-forth flow of the game continued through the fifth chukker. Magrini and Gonzalez exchanged penalty goals, 8-6. Magrini scored from the field, cutting the lead to a single goal once again, and Laprida responded with a closing goal for Equuleus. Equuleus held the two goal advantage, 9-7, with one goal left to play. Peter Brant scored first in the final chukker but the Equuleus defense held firm. A final penalty by Gonzalez slammed the door on White Birch, and Equuleus celebrated the 10-8 win.
The wins by Lechuza (2-1) and Equuleus (2-1) and the loss by White Birch (2-1) resulted in a three-way tie. A penalty shoot-out between the three teams took place late in the afternoon with Equuleus winning. Equuleus will face Heathcote (0-3) in one semifinal while Lechuza and White Birch will meet in the other. The semifinals will be held on Wednesday, July 31, time to be announced.
Juan Martin Nero