Biddle scores 14 goals in US Arena Open win
By Alex Webbe
Biddle scores 14 goals in leading $ D (Dan Coleman, Will Tankard and Tommy Biddle) to a 16-12 win over Golden Zebra (Jay Fetner, Jose Zegers and Gonzalo Fucci) Tuesday evening in the 2014 United States Open Arena Polo Championship at the Country Farms Polo Club in Medford, New York.
$ D came out firing from the opening throw-in. Tommy Biddle and Gonzalo Fucci traded a couple of goals to open the chukker, 2-2. Biddle then hit on a 3-pointer and added another goal from the field. At the end of the first chukker Golden Zebra was trailing by three goals, 5-2.
Four more second period goals (all on penalty shots) from Biddle stretched the $ D lead to five goals. Fucci scored twice for Golden Zebra (one on a penalty conversion), but at the end of the first half of play $ D sat on top of a 9-4 score.
The pace continued to escalate in the third, but this time Golden Zebra was beginning to find their rhythm. The two teams matched one another goal for goal. Biddle added two more goals from the field for a total of eleven on the day while teammates Dan Coleman and Will Tankard each added a goal. Golden Zebra got three goals from Fucci and a single goal from Jose Zegers. $ D continued to hold their five goals lead, 13-8.
The Golden Zebra attack put the pressure on in the final chukker, scoring three consecutive goals (one from Zegers and two from Fucci) to cut the $ D lead to just two goals, 13-11, with four minutes left to play. Biddle turned it on and responded with three straight goals for a 16-11 lead. Zegers scored the final goal of the game for Golden Zebra in the final 30 seconds, but it was $ D that celebrated the 16-12 win.
Biddle led all scoring with 16 (including a two-pointer in the first chukker).
“I was a bit worried going in,” said Biddle, “because I know they (Golden Zebra) play a lot of arena polo at Great Meadow (VA), and they won the Open in 2010.”
But the team played well, he thought. Biddle led the way, but being the only 10-goaler in the game, he should have.
“Dan hadn’t played at this level before,” added Biddle, “and I was a little leery about how he’d handle it, but he did great.”
“I really enjoyed playing with Will (Tankard),” added Biddle. “I think that our experience playing together in England really helped.”
Biddle gave high marks to his team’s defense, noting that most of the Golden Zebra goals were scored on penalty shots.
“We just need to cut down on the fouls,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Team (Nik Feldman, Todd Thurston and August Scherer) will face $ D at 7PM. On Thursday, I/I Polo will play Golden Zebra in a 6PM contest. A second match on Thursday night at 7PM will feature Cedar Croft (Bob Ceparano, Felipe Viana and Kris Kampsen) and Equuleus (Joe DiMenna, Brandon Phillips and Joao Ganon).
$ D (Dan Coleman, Will Tankard and Tommy Biddle)
Golden Zebra (Jay Fetner, Jose Zegers and Gonzalo Fucci)