For Immediate Release
Wellington, FL – February 2, 2020 – The final 18-goal game of the season at the International Polo Club Palm Beach featured a dramatic finish between La Indiana and Patagones to determine the champion of the 2020 Ylvisaker Cup as the outcome came down to the final seconds. Surviving a late comeback from La Indiana, Patagones captured the thrilling 9-8 victory on the U.S Polo Assn. Field 1 to claim the Ylvisaker Cup.
A tense final saw both teams challenge the ball with high-pressure defences, unwilling to concede easy opportunities around goal. The tightly marked game resulted in the majority of the offense coming from the penalty line, as La Indiana and Patagones finished with identical 5 conversions on 6 penalty attempts. Tasked with slowing La Indiana’s attack, Santiago Toccalino was kept on the defensive end, but four combined field goals from the trio of Joaquin Avendano, Benjamin Avendano and Santiago Wulff gave Patagones enough of an advantage early in the game. A slow start from La Indiana left them fighting from behind, but a late push wasn’t enough to overcome the first half deficit, ultimately falling a goal short in the 9-8 defeat.
A consistent presence offensively throughout the tournament, Joaquin Avendano opened the scoring for Patagones, while a key penalty 4 conversion for Toccalino gave his team the quick 2-0 lead. Foul trouble hindered La Indiana in the opening half, committing eight fouls compared to just three for Patagones, giving Patagones the possession advantage. Field goals from Santiago Gomez Romero and Jeff Hall proved to be the only scoring for La Indiana over the first three chukkers in a game that became a defensive battle. Toccalino’s conversion on a spot hit from distance extended Patagones’ lead back to two. Trading penalty 5’s, neither team was able to find the goal on numerous attempts, leaving the low-scoring game at 4-2 entering the second half.
Tournament scoring leader Facundo Obregon scored his first goal of the game in the fourth chukker on a penalty two conversion, but the remainder of the chukker was in Patagones’ favor, controlling open play. As time was expiring in the fourth chukker, Benjamin Avendano completed a run to goal to push Patagones’ lead to three, with La Indiana’s inability to generate offense from the field keeping them behind on the scoreboard. The outcome was left to be decided on the penalty line as Patagones found themselves in foul trouble for the first time in the game. Converting consecutive penalty attempts, Obregon cut the deficit to two, but fighting their own indiscipline, La Indiana conceded two penalty goals of their own, leaving Patagones with a commanding 8-5 lead and just one chukker between them and the Ylvisaker Cup title. Toccalino’s fifth penalty conversion seemed to all but seal the victory for Patagones, but La Indiana was unwilling to quit, producing a relentless attack that pressured the Patagones defence. Romero’s second goal was quickly followed by two penalty conversions from Obregon, exciting the spectators on hand, as La Indiana pulled within one goal for the first time since the second chukker. The comeback fell a goal short as Patagones survived the late flurry of goals from La Indiana to capture the 9-8 victory and the 2020 Ylvisaker Cup. Santiago Wulff claimed MVP honors, while Best Playing Pony was awarded to Benjamin Avendano’s “Conejo”.