The start of the second round in the 2020 C.V. Whitney Cup at the International Polo Club Palm Beach began with a dominant offensive performance from Las Monjitas, defeating Coca-Cola 15-13, while Park Place captured a last minute victory over Cessna, to remain in the hunt for the semi-finals.
In one of the most impressive showings of the tournament thus far, Las Monjitas overwhelmed Coca-Cola over the first four chukkas, relying on the duo of Francisco Elizalde and Mackenzie Weisz, who accurately attacked goal to finish with 10 and 4 goals respectively. Shooting 80% on 15 shots, Las Monjitas took advantage of each opportunity, displaying immense horsepower and strong dribbling to run past the Coca-Cola defence and lead them to the convincing victory.
A fast-paced game with few fouls favored the speed of Las Monjitas, who were led by Elizalde in the opening chukker. Converting a Penalty 4 to begin the game, Elizalde added two more goals from the field, while Coca-Cola was unable to generate any chances of their own to face an early 3-0 deficit. The momentum stayed with Las Monjitas for the remainder of the first half, as the emergence of Weisz was a big factor in their relentless attack. Picking up passes with accuracy, Weisz added two field goals along with a Penalty 2 conversion pushing Las Monjitas’ lead to eight, with Coca-Cola’s Nico Pieres providing two of his team’s three goals in the first half.
Holding a commanding 11-3 advantage, Las Monjitas continued to display a varied attack, including a goal from Jack Whitman, playing in place of Camilo Bautista, to all but secure the victory over Coca-Cola. Elizalde’s 10 goals through four chukkers highlighted his elite play, a step ahead of Coca-Cola throughout the game. With the outcome all but decided, Las Monjitas sat back over the final two chukkers, resulting in Coca-Cola scoring the final nine goals of the game, seven from Gillian Johnston, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback, falling 15-13 in their first game of the C.V. Whitney Cup.
The second game of the day between Cessna and Park Place came down to the final minute in a hard-fought game that saw two balanced attacks. With the smallest of margins determining the outcome, Cessna’s 2 for 7 penalty shooting ultimately was the difference in the game, including four misses from the 30 and 40-yard lines. Alfredo Bigatti led all players with five goals, while Alejandro Muzzio, playing in place of the injured Juan Britos, performed well, contributing two goals in Park Place’s 9-8 victory.
A back and forth opening chukker saw Felipe Viana and Felipe Marquez trade goals, leaving Cessna ahead by one goal due to their 21 goal team handicap. Coming off a strong first game against La Indiana, Bigatti continued to excel in the #2 position, scoring two goals from the field to bring Park Place into a 3-3 tie. Evenly matched, neither Cessna or Park Place were able to take control of the game, but two penalty 4 conversions for Muzzio to finish the half, gave Park Place a slim 5-4 lead.
Foul trouble hindered Park Place in the early stages of the second half, conceding a Penalty 3 to Marquez and additional possessions, which ultimately led to a field goal for Nicolas Saenz to erase their lead and once again tie the game. Muzzio’s impact from the penalty line was crucial for Park Place, as he finished a perfect 3 for 3 from the 60-yard line, helping Park Place keep pace with Cessna. Consecutive goals from Chip Campbell and Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario swing the momentum back in Cessna’s favor, giving them a slight one-goal advantage with one chukker remaining. After Bigatti tied the score at 8-8, Viana stepped up to the penalty line with one minute remaining and converted the penalty 2, sending Park Place to the victory and keeping their semi-final hopes alive.