Second Round Set as Four More Teams Advance in C.V. Whitney Cup
A second slate of games in the opening round of the 2019 C.V. Whitney Cup at the International Polo Club Palm Beach saw the remaining eight teams make their debut in the tournament. Play began with La Indiana defeating Santa Clara 12-8, while Las Monjitas needed overtime to defeat Iconica 9-8. The final two games of the day saw Cessna produce a strong defensive effort in a 9-6 win over Postage Stamp Farm, along with Equuleus claiming the 9-6 victory over Old Hickory Bourbon.
The first game of the day saw Tomas Garcia del Rio make his first appearance with La Indiana and it proved to be a winning formula, as he positively affected La Indiana’s attack alongside Jeff Hall and Facundo Obregon. After an evenly matched opening chukker, La Indiana took control of the game with Garcia del Rio scoring one goal and assisting on the other, while Michael Bickford provided strong defensive support to keep Santa Clara off the scoreboard. La Indiana continued their momentum into the third chukker, scoring four goals in a fast-paced, end-to-end style of play that saw Hall, Obregon and Bickford all score from the field. Santa Clara found themselves down 8-4, due to perfect 3 for 3 shooting from the penalty line for La Indiana’s Facundo Obregon.
Holding a four-goal advantage, La Indiana managed the second half effectively, pulling Bickford back into a defensive position with Hall and Garcia del Rio. Content to match Santa Clara goal for goal, with Garcia del Rio the key factor, contributing with another goal and assist in the fourth chukker. With Santa Clara pressing to reduce the deficit, they failed to find the scoresheet in the fifth chukker, sealing their fate as Facundo Obregon’s fifth goal of the game extended La Indiana’s lead to five. With the 12-8 victory, La Indiana is set for a second-round match-up against Daily Racing Form.
In one of the most thrilling games of the first round, Las Monjitas survived a late comeback from Iconica to claim the overtime victory. Early in the game, Hilario Ulloa and Francisco Elizalde provided an energetic attack that produced numerous chances at goal, but their inaccuracy kept them from pulling away. With the two teams combining to shoot just 3 for 10 from the field in the opening two chukkers, the low scoring affair saw Las Monjitas hold the slim 2-1 lead. Two players noticeable for their defensive efforts in the game provided a scoring punch in the third chukker, as Matt Coppola and Matias Magrini scored two goals each as Las Monjitas took a 4-3 lead into halftime.
The second half featured a series of runs as the lead changed hands multiple times over the final three chukkers. Iconica’s Peke Gonzalez exploded for three goals from the field in the fourth chukker, pushing Iconica into the lead, but Las Monjitas quickly responded with a three-goal chukker of their own in the fifth. Elizalde made his impact on the game, scoring a goal while setting up a second, giving Las Monjitas the two-goal advantage with just seven minutes remaining. After Magrini cut the deficit in half, a clutch safety conversion for Peke Gonzalez sent the game into overtime. Within the first minute of overtime, Las Monjitas received a safety opportunity of their own and Francisco Elizalde found the goal to send Las Monjitas into the second round.
A physical young game saw the young balanced squad of Cessna use a dominant final chukker to claim victory over Postage Stamp Farm (PSF). Throughout the first half, PSF controlled possession with Mariano Aguerre and Joaquin Panelo managing the pace of the game. A foul ridden game saw 14 fouls for Cessna and provided PSF with four penalty opportunities early in the game, but their inability to convert three of their four attempts, left Cessna in the game. Annabelle Gundlach had an impressive third chukker, scoring three goals to give PSF the one-goal lead at halftime.
Cessna brought the game into a tie to begin the second half after Felipe Viana converted a penalty 2 and Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario scored his first goal of the game. The efforts of Felipe Marquez and Felipe Viana in open play, provided space for Ferrario to attack and capitalize on the PSF mistakes in the second half. Finding themselves trailing by one goal, Cessna produced a dominant final chukker, led by Felipe Marquez, who contributed a goal along with two assists in a passing attack that overwhelmed the PSF defence. The final chukker comeback sends Cessna into the second round with the 9-7 victory, where they will face SD Farms.
The final game of the first round featured a dominant second half from Equuleus, led by a six-goal performance from Magoo Laprida in the victory over Old Hickory Bourbon (OHB). The Laprida brothers Inaki and Magoo, worked seamlessly together throughout the game, with Mariano Gonzalez effectively manning the back line. The duo of Inaki and Magoo Laprida combined for three goals in the second chukker pushed Equuleus into a two-goal lead but the experience of Miguel Novillo Astrada gave OHB the 5-4 lead, as he played off of Stevie Orthwein well.
Mariano Gonzalez’s lone goal of the game restored the tie to begin the second half, but Equuleus grabbed control of the game in the fifth chukker behind Magoo Laprida who scored three unanswered field goals. The OHB offense struggled throughout the second half, unable to create chances and get past the organized defence of Equuleus. With just one goal over the final three chukkers, OHB was unable to keep up with an Equuleus team that produced an impressive showing on both sides of the ball in the 9-6 victory.