Ylvisaker Cup competition saw four games and eight teams battling it out last weekend at the International Polo Club Palm Beach for the final three berths in the quarterfinals of the 20-goal tournament. Victories by Villa Del Lago, ERG, Audi and Lucchese decided who would qualify, but it would take a three-team Monday-morning shootout to determine the quarterfinal pairings.
In Sunday morning action on Feb. 10, Villa Del Lago galloped out to a 6-5 halftime lead over Valiente and held on for an 11-10 win after trailing by a goal going into the final chukker of play.
Villa Del Lago relied on the talents of Argentine 8-goaler Magoo Laprida, who led the scoring with seven goals, and a sixth-chukker goal from Agustin Obregon to carry the day. The win improved Villa Del Lago’s record to 2-1, while Valiente suffered its third loss in as many games.
In the second morning game of the day, ERG had little trouble with Orchard Hill as they built up a 9-4 halftime lead before running away with the game in a 14-10 win.
Paco de Narvaez scored six of his game-high nine goals in the first three chukkers as ERG dominated play through the course of the game.
De Narvaez added two more goals in the fourth period and his ninth in the fifth as ERG enjoyed a seven goal, 13-7 lead with only one chukker left to play. Orchard Hill tried to make a go of it in the final period of the game, with Jeff Hall scoring two of his seven goals on penalty shots. Team captain Steve Van Andel and Lucas Criado added single goals, but the ERG defense did what it had to do and cruised to the 14-10 win.
ERG remained undefeated (3-0) in tournament play, while Orchard Hill’s record fell to 1-2, eliminating them from the quarterfinals.
Another pivotal tournament game saw Audi muscle its way past Lechuza 8-7 in a fast-paced, high-speed contest that wasn’t decided until the final chukker.
After an opening 2-2 first chukker, the two teams battled all the way down to the final horn before Audi finally secured the win.
Nic Roldan scored the winning goal on a 60-yard penalty shot in the sixth chukker for the win. Polito Pieres scored five goals for Lechuza over the course of the game but was unable to come up with an answer to the Audi defense in the final seven minutes of action.
The final game of the day gave Lucchese a 10-8 win over a stubborn Faraway team that entered the game with a dismal 0-2 record.
An injury to Sebastian Merlos (broken rib) just two days earlier in the team’s loss to Lechuza forced Lucchese to bring in Agustin Merlos, Sebastian’s younger brother, a move that proved to be successful for John Muse’s entry. The younger Merlos made an immediate impact on the game by scoring three first-chukker goals.
Although Lucchese jumped out to a comfortable 8-4 halftime lead, Faraway fought their way back into the competition in the second half, cutting the lead to a single goal, making it 9-8 after the fifth chukker.
Merlos scored the only goal of the sixth chukker for the 10-8 win. The win boosted Lucchese into a virtual three-way tie, with Audi and Lechuza having identical 2-1 records.
A three-team (Audi, Lucchese, Lechuza) Monday-morning shootout victory gave Audi the bracket title, but with 2-1 records, Lechuza and Lucchese would also find their way into the quarterfinals set for Friday, Feb. 15.
The quarterfinal game schedule will see Zacara (3-0) facing Coca-Cola (2-1) at 10 a.m., followed by a noon meeting between ERG (3-0) and Lechuza (2-1). At 2 p.m., Villa Del Lago (2-1) will battle Audi (2-1), followed by a Piaget (2-1) showdown with Lucchese (2-1).
The International Polo Club will host the annual 40-Goal Outback Challenge Cup on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. The charity match raises funds to assist injured players and grooms. The opening round of the 26-goal 2013 C.V. Whitney Cup will get underway Sunday, Feb. 17.
The high-goal polo action takes place every Sunday through April 21 at the International Polo Club. Ticket prices for Sunday polo range from $10 general admission to $120 box seating. Tickets for Sunday brunch at the Pavilion and its reception start at $55, upward to $330 for the Veuve Clicquot brunch package for two. Tickets can be purchased online at www.internationalpoloclub.com, or by calling (561) 204-5687. Find IPC on Facebook, follow on Twitter @SundayPolo or visit www.ipcscoreboard.com for up-to-date scores, schedules, rosters and all other polo info.
Above: Lucchese scored a 10-8 win over Faraway last Sunday.