Valiente Secures 7th Straight Victory in 26-Goal Play
The seventh game of the 2018 USPA Gold Cup saw Valiente use a dominant sixth chukka to pull away and defeat Tonkawa 15-9 on Valiente Field #2, to improve to an undefeated 7-0 in 26-goal play.
A back and forth game that saw multiple runs from both teams was ultimately decided late in the game as Valiente’s relentless attack, led by a ten-goal performance from Facundo Pieres, overwhelmed Tonkawa late in the game. In an otherwise close game, the third and sixth chukkas were critical to Valiente’s victory as they outscored their opponents a combined 7-0 in those two chukkas thanks to nine fouls from Tonkawa. Receiving at least one penalty attempt every chukka, Valiente continually pressured the Tonkawa defense throughout the game, while Adolfo Cambiaso stayed in the back of the field to protect against a quick counter attack. Combining to shoot 9 for 11 from the field, Pieres and Tommy Beresford put in exceptional performances to lead Valiente to victory.
Looking to hand Valiente their first defeat, Tonkawa scored on their first attack as patron Jeff Hildebrand ran to goal and was fouled on the goal line resulting in a penalty 1 just seconds into the game. Evenly matched in the opening two chukkas, both teams traded goals, taking advantage of each other’s mistakes to create quick scoring opportunities. Mariano Aguerre and Julian de Lusarreta created forced turnovers from a usually composed Valiente team to give Tonkawa the early 3-2 lead. With Caset converting a penalty shot to open the second chukka, all four Tonkawa players found themselves on the scoresheet in a game that would require a complete team effort to defeat Valiente. However, Valiente dominated the end of the half, outscoring Tonkawa 3-0 to begin a stretch of six consecutive goals that led to a 9-5 score in favour of Valiente.
The impact of Pieres throughout the game was noticeable as he was constantly using superior mallet work to run downfield and create scoring opportunities for his team, along with Tommy Beresford who would finish with four goals in the game, shooting 100% from the field. Finding themselves in a big deficit, Tonkawa responded in an impressive fashion, scoring goals on three consecutive plays in a span of one minute and forty seconds, finished by Hildebrand’s second goal of the game. The comeback from Tonkawa reduced the deficit to one goal at 10-9 in the fifth chukka, but they were unable to stop the attack of Pieres, as he quickly responded with his seventh goal of the game to give Valiente a two-goal advantage leading into the sixth chukka. Valiente blew the game wide open in the final chukka as Tonkawa committed five fouls, two of which were yellow cards awarded to Caset, leaving Tonkawa without their highest rated player as time ticked down. Finishing the game with three more goals in the final chukka, Pieres brought his total to ten goals in the game as Valiente secured the 15-9 victory and a perfect 3-0 record after group play.