A busy second day of the C.V. Whitney Cup saw three games beginning with an exciting match between Las Monjitas and Equuleus, with Las Monjitas completing the comeback to capture the 10-8 victory. The feature game of the week on the U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1 was a defensive game, highlighting the play of Postage Stamp Farm, claiming the 9-7 win against Daily Racing Form. The final match of the day showcased the dominance of Tonkawa in the first half as they cruised to a 14-10 victory over Santa Clara.
A tale of two halves, the first game between Equuleus vs. Las Monjitas was decided in the final chukker after Las Monjitas fought back from a 6-2 deficit in the opening half. Led by five goals from Francisco Elizalde, Las Monjitas overcame inaccurate shooting to score seven of the final eight goals in the game and complete the comeback in their 2020 Gauntlet of Polo™ debut. A slow start from Las Monjitas resulted in Equuleus holding an early 2-0 lead after the first chukker, after goals from Inaki Laprida and Mariano Gonzalez. Magoo Laprida quickly extended the lead to three to begin the second chukker as Las Monjitas continued to struggle offensively. Mackenzie Weisz finally got Las Monjitas on the scoreboard, but Magoo Laprida excelled the remainder of the half, adding two more goals to give Equuleus the 6-2 lead.
The game changed after halftime with Las Monjitas relying on the duo of Elizalde and Pelon Stirling to fight their way back within reach of Equuleus. Stirling and Gonzalez traded goals for their respective teams in the fourth chukker, but Las Monjitas began to convert their missed chances from the first half, beginning a run of five unanswered goals, the last of which gave Las Monjitas their first lead of the game at 8-7. Gonzalez’s fourth goal of the game restored the tie at 8-8, but the play of Elizalde late, scoring consecutive goals, carried Las Monjitas to the 10-8 victory.
On the U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1, Postage Stamp Farm and Daily Racing Form produced a defensive battle, with little room provided for both teams in a tightly marked game. Six of the final ten goals of the game came from the penalty line as Postage Stamp Farm found themselves in foul trouble, but a balanced team effort led to the narrow two-goal victory. Lerin Zubiaurre opened the scoring for Postage Stamp Farm, but Daily Racing Form responded with a goal from Costi Caset and an impressive goal from distance by Agustin Obregon to give Daily Racing Form the 2-1 lead. Postage Stamp Farm continued to pressure Daily Racing Form, but struggled to convert their chances, shooting just 2 for 8 in the first half, yet the score was tied 3-3 in what turned into a defensive style of play.
Taking control of the game for the first time, Postage Stamp Farm began the second half with consecutive goals from Peke Gonzalez and Felipe Tro, filling in for Annabelle Gundlach, to hold the 5-3 lead. Failing to score a field goal in the second half, Daily Racing Form relied on the penalty line for their offense, beginning with a penalty two conversion from Jared Zenni to pull them back within one. A foul ridden fifth chukker saw a combined seven fouls, resulting in three penalty goals for Daily Racing Form, but Postage Stamp Farm was led by Zubiaurre, who scored three goals to push the lead back to two. A scoreless final chukker saw Postage Stamp Farm keep Daily Racing Form pinned in their own half, resulting in the 9-7 final score and victory for Postage Stamp Farm.
The final game of the day played on the fields at Tonkawa, displayed a dominant attack from Tonkawa against Santa Clara. Exploding for 11 goals in the opening half, Tonkawa overwhelmed Santa Clara across the field, led by the double-digit scoring performance from Sapo Caset, who finished with 10 goals in the game. A different player scoring each of the first four goals, including former Santa Clara player Ignacio Toccalino, helping Tonkawa race out to a 4-0 lead and leave Santa Clara stunned in the opening minutes. A second goal from Caset pushed the lead to five, until Luis Escobar finally ended the run on a penalty two conversion. The remainder of the first half proved to be all Tonkawa as the dominated possession and kept Santa Clara a step behind. Scoring six more goals before the end of the half, Caset was an offensive force, completing runs to goal and penalty attempts to give his team a commanding 11-2 lead at halftime.
With the nearly insurmountable nine-goal lead, Tonkawa sat back in the second half, allowing Santa Clara to find their footing and start to fight their way back in the game. Matias Magrini made his impact on the game with three goals over the fifth and sixth chukkers, but after Caset’s goal in the fifth chukker brought Tonkawa’s total to 14, Santa Clara wasn’t left with enough time to close the deficit. Two penalty ones in the sixth chukker brought them within four goals, but Tonkawa cruised to the dominant 14-10 victory to complete the exciting day in the C.V. Whitney Cup.
All photos credit ©Alex Pacheco