After a long wet week of no polo, the International Polo Club Palm Beach was back in action for last Sunday’s opening game of the 20-goal Ylvisaker Cup tournament featuring Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Jeff Hall, Julio Arellano and Nick Morrison) and Palm Beach Illustrated (Jared Zenni, Tommy Collingwood, Magoo Laprida and Facundo Obregon). In the end, Palm Beach Illustrated claimed a narrow 11-10 win.
Palm Beach Illustrated grabbed three first-chukker goals while shutting out the impressive Coca-Cola lineup. Obregon scored the first goal of the game for Palm Beach Illustrated, followed by a pair of goals from Zenni for the 3-0 lead.
Laprida’s first goal of the game in the opening minute of the second chukker gave Palm Beach Illustrated a 4-0 lead, before Coca-Cola made a comeback. Hall scored the next two goals, with teammate Arellano cutting the Palm Beach Illustrated lead to 4-3.
The third chukker belonged to Coca-Cola, which scored four more unanswered goals to take a 7-4 halftime advantage. Hall scored the tying goal less than a minute into the period. Arellano gave Coca-Cola its first lead of the day, 5-4, less than two minutes later. Johnston scored at the 5:27 mark, and Arellano converted a 30-yard penalty shot for the 7-4 score.
A determined Palm Beach Illustrated team took the field after the break and immediately pressured the Coca-Cola defense. Obregon took advantage of a couple of Coca-Cola fouls to cut the lead to a single goal, 7-6, as his teammates helped him shut down the Coca-Cola attack.
Three consecutive Palm Beach Illustrated goals in the fifth had Coca-Cola trailing, 9-7. With 42 seconds on the clock, Arellano split the goalposts for a score, but Palm Beach Illustrated continued to lead, 9-8.
Laprida’s third goal of the day had Palm Beach Illustrated on top, 10-8. Arellano converted a penalty shot for a goal, 10-9, but a costly penalty goal put Coca-Cola behind by two goals, 11-9, with under three minutes left on the clock.
Coca-Cola continued to press, but alert defense kept them at bay through the balance of the match. Arellano scored the final goal of the period, but time expired before Coca-Cola could capitalize on the one-goal margin. Palm Beach Illustrated left the field with the 11-10 win.
Arellano led all scoring with six goals (two on penalty shots). Hall scored three times, and Johnston added a goal in the loss. Laprida, Obregon and Zenni each scored three times for Palm Beach Illustrated. Collingwood added a goal, and the team received one goal by penalty.
Palm Beach Illustrated’s Jared Zenni was named MVP, while Jeff Hall’s eight-year-old black gelding, Christian, received Best Playing Pony honors.
Monday action at IPC saw Los Machitos/Heathcote (Steve Lefkowitz, Sterling Giannico, Hilario Ulloa and Matias Magrini) holding off a late rally by CT Energia (Alessandro Bazzoni, Kris Kampsen, Joao Ganon and Nick Manifold) for a 12-11 victory, while Villa Del Lago/Casablanca (Jim Zenni, Agustin Obregon, Polito Pieres and Inaki Laprida) scored a come-from-behind 15-14 win over Faraway (Hutton Goodman, Martin Pepa, Santiago Chavanne and Mariano Gonzalez).
In Monday’s opening match, CT Energia scored the first three goals of the game and led 4-0 before Los Machitos/Heathcote got on the scoreboard.
CT Energia received one goal by handicap and added another on a shot from the field from Manifold. Los Machitos/Heathcote was unable to score and trailed 2-0 after the first chukker.
A 30-yard penalty conversion from Kampsen and a goal from the field from Bazzoni gave CT Energia its 4-0 edge. With just a minute left in the chukker, Giannico managed to break through the CT Energia defenses and score a goal for Los Machitos/Heathcote, to make it 4-1.
Giannico jumped on the ball in the opening seconds of the third period and scored his second goal of the match, 4-2. A minute later, Magrini converted a penalty shot, cutting the CT Energia lead to a single goal, 4-3. Ganon answered with a penalty conversion of his own, and CT Energia was back at two goals, 5-3. Giannico capped off an impressive third chukker for himself by driving a well-executed shot through the goalposts from nearly 70 yards out. Ulloa (substituting for Mariano Aguerre in the Los Machitos/Heathcote lineup) scored the final goal of the first half to tie the score 5-5.
The two teams traded goals in the fourth chukker with Kampsen scoring on a goal from the field and a penalty shot, while both of Ulloa’s goals came on the run. The score remained even, 7-7.
Los Machitos/Heathcote scored four times in the fifth — two from Magrini, including one in which he blocked a penalty shot at the goal line and raced the length of the field to score, and single goals from Giannico and Ulloa, while limiting CT Energia to a single penalty goal. It was a new game now, 11-8, and Los Machitos/Heathcote was in control.
Ganon scored in the opening minute of the final chukker to cut the lead to two goals, 11-9, and Bazzoni’s second goal of the game had it at a single goal, 11-10 at the 3:24 mark. Giannico’s fifth goal of the game put Los Machitos/Heathcote in the lead by two goals, 12-10, with just under two minutes on the game clock. A scramble in front of the Los Machitos/Heathcote goal resulted in a penalty goal with 28 seconds left in the game. Los Machitos/Heathcote took control of the throw-in in front of their own goal and drove the ball into the sideboards to end the game in a 12-11 win.
Giannico led all scoring with five goals. Ulloa scored four times, and Pepa was credited with three goals. Ganon and Kampsen scored three goals each for CT Energia. Bazzoni added two goals, and Manifold scored once.
Monday’s second game started out in a feeding frenzy, as Faraway took an early 3-2 lead with Gonzalez scoring three times from the penalty line. Villa Del Lago/Casablanca responded with a pair of goals from 10-goaler Pieres.
Villa Del Lago/Casablanca took immediate control of the second chukker, scoring on goals from Pieres (a 40-yard penalty shot) and Laprida for a 4-3 advantage, while holding Faraway scoreless.
Faraway took the field in the third and was ready to play. Chavanne opened the tying goal with a shot from the field. Pepa gave Faraway a 5-4 lead. Laprida and Gonzalez exchanged goals in the waning minutes of the first half, each scoring twice for a 7-6 Faraway lead.
Goals from Pepa and Gonzalez ushered in the fourth period. Laprida came alive in time to score the final goal of the chukker, with Faraway in front, 9-7.
Seven goals were scored in the fifth, with Faraway holding on to a one goal edge, 12-11. Pepa added two goals for Faraway, and Gonzalez scored on another penalty shot. Pieres scored four times (one on a penalty conversion).
Six more goals were scored in the sixth with Pieres tying it at 12-12 to open the period. Chavanne scored from the field, and Laprida converted a penalty shot for a goal, 13-13. Pieres converted a penalty shot for a goal and then scored his eighth goal of the day for the 14-13 lead. Obregon gave Villa Del Lago/Casablanca the breathing room they needed in the 15-13 game. Chavanne scored the final goal of the game in the 15-14 victory.
Pieres won scoring honors on the day with nine goals (two on penalty shots). Laprida added five goals and Obregon added a goal in the win. All seven of Gonzalez’s goals came on penalty shots for Faraway. Pepa scored four times, while Chavanne had a bad day and accounted for three goals.
In Tuesday’s Ylvisaker Cup match, a 4-0 third chukker fueled Las Monjitas (Camilo Bautista, Geronimo Obregon, Eduardo Astrada and Alejandro Astrada) to a 13-10 win over Audi (Juancito Bollini, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan and Nico Pieres).
Alejandro Astrada scored six of his game-high seven goals on penalty shots. Eduardo Astrada added three goals. Obregon scored twice, and Bautista scored once for the win. Pieres led the Audi attack with five goals. Roldan scored three times while Bollini accounted for two goals.
Polo season continues this weekend at IPC with more action in the 20-goal Ylvisaker Cup. IPC is located at 3667 120th Ave. South in Wellington. For tickets, call (561) 282-5334 or visit www.internationalpoloclub.com.