Winners: Equine Liquid Biocell
All photos © David Lominska/IPC
WELLINGTON, Fla. – March 12, 2017 – Sunday’s 2017 Iglehart Cup final at the International Polo Club Palm Beach featured two teams who took markedly different paths to get there.
Equine Liquid Biocell went undefeated in the tournament, winning both bracket games and defeating Mt. Brilliant in the semifinals. By contrast, La Indiana lost their first two games and needed a shootout to reach the semis, in which they slid past Tonkawa to become a finalist.
La Indiana started off strong in the final, scoring 4 goals in the first two chukkers, with their leading scorer, Mike Azzaro, scoring two goals from the field. Jeff Hall converted 2 of 3 penalty attempts from 60 yards to give La Indiana an early 4-2 lead. What had been playing out as an even game completely turned in the third chukker as Equine Liquid Biocell came out firing. In a déjà vu scenario from the semis, Agustin Obregon ignited the offense. He scored 3 of the first 4 goals for Equine Liquid Biocell, again demonstrating the impact he has made on the entire tournament. (Obregon scored 3.8 goals per game in the Iglehart, compared to 0.7 goals per game in previous tournaments.
Winning the first throw-in to start the third chukker and running the ball straight into goal infused Equine Liquid Biocell with momentum. They dominated the third chukker 5-0, scoring all five goals from the field on 7 shot attempts.
After the first two chukkers La Indiana had started to look like a different team, constantly chasing on defense and unable to produce any offense. They were scoreless for three straight chukkers (the third, fourth and fifth). They missed all 5 shot attempts and their single penalty chance, giving La Indiana a big deficit (down 11-4) heading into the final chukker.As s
oon as the ball was thrown in to start the sixth chukker, La Indiana went on attack straight to goal, a puissance performance they hadn’t made since the second chukker. Winning the throw-ins 10-1 in the second half gave La Indiana extra possessions. Their comeback started with three straight goals by Ruki Baillieu in a 3-minute stretch. Still down 4 goals with time running out, the lead looked insurmountable, but quick goals from Azzaro and Hall shrunk the lead to 2 with 2 minutes remaining. A final goal by Azzaro with less than a minute left bolstered La Indiana, who all told notched a stunning 6 goals in the chukker. Equine Liquid Biocell clung on for the win and an 11-10 victory.
Equine Liquid Biocell’s Jared Zenni was MVP. “Erin,” played by Ruki Bailliau and owned by La Indiana, was Best-Playing Pony.