The final of the 2019 Ylvisaker Cup on Sunday, Feb. 10 saw Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Gringo Colombres and Kris Kampsen) complete a sweep of the 20-goal season, defeating Pilot (Curtis Pilot, Matias Gonzalez, Lucas James and Facundo Pieres) 11-7 on the U.S Polo Assn. Field 1 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
During group play, Pilot got the better of Dutta Corp in a 10-8 victory, but the final provided a different story, as Dutta Corp deployed an improved strategy to contain Facundo Pieres and Lucas James. Dutta Corp’s Kris Kampsen played a deeper defensive position to protect against the long passes from Pieres, while the duo of Gringo Colombres and Lucas Diaz Alberdi relentlessly pressured the ball.
The defensive strategy held Pilot to just two field goals on six shots throughout the entire game. While Dutta Corp’s aggressive defense resulted in 15 fouls and eight penalty attempts for Pilot, it also caused numerous turnovers and interceptions that allowed Dutta Corp to dominate open play. The balanced Dutta Corp counter attack saw three players finish with at least three goals to capture the Ylvisaker Cup.
In what was expected to be a fast, high-scoring game, it was a scoreless first chukker that set the table for Dutta Corp to hand Pilot their first loss of the tournament. An improved defense saw Pilot record just one shot and zero field goals through the opening two chukkers,. While Dutta Corp also failed to score in the opening chukker, they exploded for four goals in the second chukker, thanks to two goals each from Colombres and Kampsen. The ability of Colombres to vary his attack from running with the ball to passing, provided difficulties for the Pilot defense. Limiting tournament scoring leader Pieres to just one penalty goal in the first half, Dutta Corp finished the opening three chukkers with a 6-3 lead.
With Pilot looking to fight their way back into the game, they continued to run into a tough Dutta Corp defense. Along with Colombres and Kampsen, Alberdi had an exceptional game, swarming Pieres and James at every opportunity. The fourth chukker saw Alberdi add his second goal of the game, along with Timmy Dutta’s first goal to extend Dutta Corp’s lead to four.
Held to zero field goals in the second half, Pilot’s only offense came from four penalty goals off the mallet of Pieres and James, while their inability to generate shot opportunities was the story of the game. Pilot pulled within two goals in the final chukker, but a goal from Alberdi sealed the Dutta Corp victory. Alberdi captured the MVP, while Colombres’ Coquito claimed Best Playing Pony.
Now underway at IPC is the C.V. Whitney Cup Tournament, the first leg of the highly anticipated Gauntlet of Polo. Learn more at www.internationalpoloclub.com.