Wins by Vashon (Stephanie Davidson, Juan Martin Gutierrez, Jeffrey Rewald and Zinta Rewald) and Arizona (David Barnet, Dan Faherty, Manny Rodriguez and Benito Andrade) set up the first 1-goal final of the season at the Empire Polo Club in Saturday afternoon action.
In a noon battle, Vashon edged the Flaming Chicken (Joey Gallemore, Devon Gallemore, Victor Soto and Jose Quiroz) by the narrowest of margins, 5½ to 5 top earn a spot in Sunday’s final.
Vashon received one-half goal by handicap in the opening chukker and quickly added to it with a air of goals from Juan Martin Gutierrez (one on a 40-yard penalty conversion. The Vashon defenders held the Flaming Chickens scoreless for the early 2½ to 0 lead.
Zinta Rewald’s first goal of the day stretched the Vashon lead to 3½ to 0 before the Flaming Chickens got on the scoreboard. A goal from the field from Victor Soto kept them from being shutout in the first half of the four-chukker match, with Vashon’s Gutierrez scoring the final goal of the period for a 4½ to 1 advantage.
Soto got the second half started with back-to-back goals for the Flaming Chickens, bringing them to within striking distance, 4½ to 3. Gutierrez scored on a 30-yard penalty shot to end the chukker with Vashon sitting on top of a 5½ to 3 score.
The Flaming Chickens fought their way back into the game in the fourth on the strength of goals from Jose Quiroz and Joey Gallemore and a shutout defensive effort, but t was Vashon who rode off the field with the 5½ to 5 victory.
Gutierrez led the field with four goals (two on penalty shots). Ainta Rewald added a goal for the win. Soto set the pace for the Flaming Chickens, scoring three times. Quiroz and Joey Gallemore each added a goal in the loss.
Arizona 6½, World Gym 6
In the second league game of the day, Arizona bounced back from a halftime deficit to slip past a talented World Gym entry (Claudia Uretz, Todd Randall, Tom Schuerman and Wiley Uretz), 6½ to 6.
Wiley Uretz scored the first goal of the game followed by a 40-yard penalty conversion from Dan Faherty that gave Arizona the led, 1½-1 (Arizona was awarded one-half goal on handicap). World Gym took control of the game as Wiley Uretz converted a 40-yard penalty shot and teammate Tom Schuerman added two more goals from the field. After the first seven minutes of play, World Gym was in front, 4-1½.
Goals from David Barnet and Faherty had Arizona within a half-goal of World Gym in the second period, 4-3½. Todd Randall scored the final goal of the first half to keep World Gym in the lead, 5-3½.
Goals were hard to come by in the third. Disciplined defense work by both sides held the scoring to a minimum. Schuerman and Wiley Uretz) scored the only goal of the period, extending the World Gym lead to 6 to 3½.
Arizona had been batted around by World Gym throughout much of the first three chukkers, but the fourth and final period of the gam was all Arizona. Supported by a defense that held World Gym scoreless, Faherty scored for the third time on the day and Manny Rodriguez added two goals of his own for a 6½ to 6 win.
Faherty led the Arizona attack with three goals (one on a penalty conversion). Rodriguez scored twice, Barnet added a goal and the team received one-half goal by handicap. Schuerman scored a team-high three goals for World Gym. Wiley Uretz was credited with two goals with Randall adding a goal in the loss.
The 1-goal League final is scheduled to take place on Sunday, January 31st at noon on Field 4, with Arizona facing Vashon. The consolation match between World Gym and the Flaming Chickens is set for 10AM, also on Field 4.