A sluggish start by Widlwood suggested that the team that defeated Stone Pony and Virginia Beach to reach the finals of the Aiken Polo Club's Aiken Ladies Invitational Campbell Cup flight would have anything but an easy time against Walkabout. However, the game's last three chukkers would tell a completely different story as they rallied to win 7-3 Sunday afternoon at Whitney Field.
The only goal scored during the game's opening chukker was a successful penalty conversion by Rachel Turner, who would go onto win Most Valuable Player honors.
An energized Wildwood team began to create opportunities in the second chukker. After falling behind 2-0 on another successful penalty shot by Rachel Turner, Wildwood turned their strategy toward defense closely marking their opponents. What happened next changed the complexion of the game.
And as Wildwood placed an emphasis on defense, their approach toward generating offensive chances increased, and they would score three consecutive goals from the field, two from Ali Henderson and another from Cathy Brown giving Wildwood a 3-2 lead at the half.
The momentum continued to be directed toward Widlwood as they began to fire on all cylinders creating openings by spacing out the opposition's defense. Ali Henderson continued her strong play assisting on Cathy Brown's second goal. Martha Bennett would finish a play started by Courtney Asdourian to give Wildwood a commanding 5-2 lead. The score may have been even more one-sided if not for the strong defensive efforts of Walkabout's Amy Flowers, Meaghan Scanlon, Rachel Turner and Fiona Eagle. Scanlon's third chukker mount Piss Ant would be named the game's Best Playing Pony.
Brown played her Argentine mare Skype in the third chukker, a horse who has earned Best Playing Pony honors previously.
"She's handy, quick and everything you would want in a polo pony," said Brown.
Wildwood sensing victory continued their relentless offensive attack as Asdourian picked up her first goal of the game. The urgency to put the game out of reach served as the impetus for Henderson and Brown to turn their game up a notch as Brown scored to give Wildwood a five goal advantage. Tuner scored the game's final goal on a 30-yard penalty shot.
The chestnut mare Brown played in the final chukker is named Flash, and like Skype is handy, turns quickly and makes the game fun.
"They're (Walkabout) all tough players," said Brown. "Our strategy was defense first, and then the ball."