Defeating finalists Good Thunder in their first tournament matchup, LBL Polo entered the Bronze Trophy® Final with confidence on Sunday, November 4, at New Bridge Polo & Country Club in Aiken, South Carolina. Showcasing balanced team play, LBL Polo once again rose to the challenge sweeping both their fourth win of the tournament and the Bronze Trophy® title 8-5.
Although a relatively low-scoring first half, both teams kept the game tight and within one, Good Thunder taking advantage of LBL Polo’s aggressive plays to add easy penalty goals to their tally. Scoring first from the field, LBL Polo’s Ruben Coscia was answered back by a strong offensive push from the Martinez father and son, Alan converting twice from the penalty line and Eddy nailing a field goal. Down by one after the second chukker, LBL Polo effectively shut out Good Thunder in the third, Marcos Onetto and Coscia each adding a goal apiece to regain the lead 4-3 by halftime.
As play intensified in the fourth, both teams took advantage of pivotal opportunities to capitalize from the Penalty 2 line, Coscia making both shots for LBL Polo. The scoreboard sitting at 6-4 in favor of LBL Polo, neither team could break past defenders in the fifth resulting in a fruitless chukker despite best efforts. Striking for the first time in the sixth, Jason Wates finally broke the silence with an early field goal to which Alan Martinez quickly retaliated. Once again stepping up to the penalty line, Coscia hammered through his third Penalty 2 shot of the game to seal the well-deserved victory for LBL Polo 8-5.
Finishing the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record, LBL Polo’s Marcos Onetto reflected on the team’s journey and experience of playing together. “We played really well as a team the whole tournament,” Onetto said. “Everyone on our team played hard and put a lot of pressure on our opponents which ended up paying off in the end. We kept collected throughout the final and played with a lot of patience.”
Responsible for six of LBL Polo’s eight goals, Ruben Coscia was named Most Valuable Player. His 11-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred mare, Negrita, who he played in the fourth chukker won Best Playing Pony honors. “I bought her in Ocala, Florida, as a three-year old and made her myself,” Coscia shared. “The first chukker I ever played her in was actually an 8-goal tournament game because she was so natural and athletic. She has a huge heart and I know that if I needed her to she could play two chukkers. My wife Andrea has even played her in a few women’s tournaments and she is her favorite.”
Winning her first Bronze Trophy® after only her second 12-goal tournament in Aiken, LBL Polo’s Alison Patricelli was thrilled to win the tournament undefeated. “Our team was so terrific because we worked well together and we worked for each other. There was no hero; everybody worked hard individually and just kept fighting until the end. I feel privileged to have won my second time out and I’m so proud of this team.”