Las Chiquitas' Courtney Asdourian decided she was going to play a far more defensive game going into the Women's Arena tournament at Hilltop Farm Arena. And although she scored 7 goals in Wednesday's victory against Musai Polo, Asdourian's role Thursday reflected more of her initial strategy.
"I knew I was going to play back and float a little bit," said Asdourian. "In the arena, there's not that much space, so if people get on a run by themselves they're going to get to goal. So, I hang back."
However, it was another Las Chiquitas player that did the preponderance of the scoring on Thursday. Tess Pimsner who scored 6 goals on Wednesday accounted for 10 goals against United Nations. Pimsner scored 4 goals in the 1st chukker alone while playing the mare Gracie. Asdourian and Pimsner also teamed to stifle a United Nations drive, and Las Chiquitas was able to keep their opponents off the board in the opening period.
Asdourian's focus was on defense, and she was able to create a number of offensive opportunities for her teammates. Asdourian has tremendous game sense, is rarely out of position, and has a great vision of the field. Her experience in the arena and defensive instincts were among the tangibles and intangibles that made a tremendous difference.
"I trust Meaghan (Scanlon) and Tess offensively," said Asdourian, who has played a great deal of arena polo. "We'll end up playing an offensive game by playing defensively. That's what I've been doing. I've been picking up the pieces and pushing them forward."
Meaghan Scanlon scored Las Chiquitas' 6th goal early in the 2nd period. United Nations finally got on the board as Fiona Eagle threaded a pass to an open Rachel Turner who buried the ball in the goal. Rachel Turner would add her second goal putting in the rebound of her penalty shot. The offensive opportunities continued to come Las Chiquitas' way and this time it was Pimsner scoring her 5th goal of the contest. Las Chiquitas gave themselves additional breathing room, this time thanks to a critically placed back shot by Asdourian. However, United Nations would answer back as they matched Las Chiquitas offensive output in the chukker, this time on a goal by Amy Flowers.
The second half began much the same way as the first. Las Chiquitas scored 6 unanswered goals. Pimsner would open the scoring with a successful penalty conversion. Meaghan Scanlon played Karen Reese's 4-year-old filly Lucia in the 3rd chukker, and in a performance to remember, Scanlon scored 4 consecutive goals. Asdourian would cap the scoring in the period providing Las Chiquitas with an 11 goal advantage.
The final chukker saw Pimsner score four more times, while playing the mare Capachosa. Fiona Eagle and Rachel Turner each scored twice for United Nations.