Second Day Of Quarter-finals In C.V. Whitney Cup
With Las Monjitas securing a semi-final spot in yesterday’s game, the remaining quarter-final matches in the C.V. Whitney Cup were played at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, determining the final three positions in the semi-finals. The first of three games of the day saw La Indiana defeat Daily Racing Form 10-8, while Pilot held off an Equuleus comeback to capture the 10-9 victory. The last spot in the semi-finals was claimed by Cessna Polo team in a convincing 11-5 victory over SD Farms.
The second day of quarter-finals began with a foul ridden affair between La Indiana and Daily Racing Form (DRF). Scoring five goals each, Jeff Hall and Facundo Obregon attacked effectively throughout the game for La Indiana, while Tomas Garcia del Rio protected against the counter attack. The fouls began early with DRF committing six in the opening chukker. Scoring three penalty goals, La Indiana raced out to a 4-2 lead, but DRF quickly responded due to the efforts of Jared Zenni. DRF tied the score in the second chukker with Zenni contributing a goal and assist, while La Indiana was held off the scoresheet. Despite producing more opportunities in open play, DRF found themselves in foul trouble to end the half, committing five more fouls as La Indiana held the 7-5 lead.
La Indiana’s offense continued to be powered by Hall and Obregon as they helped extend their team’s lead to three in the fourth chukka. While Santiago Cernadas responded with his first goal of the game, DRF were unable to consistently get in behind the back line of Hall and Garcia del Rio to create enough scoring chances to match La Indiana. DRF produced a strong defensive fifth chukker to provide them with the opportunity to fight their way back into the game but missed their final four shot attempts over the final two chukker as La Indiana maintained their lead to complete the 10-8 victory.
The opponent for La Indiana in the semi-finals was determined in the next game as Pilot faced Equuleus, and the early stages of the game were all Pilot as they dominated play. The combination of Gonzalito and Facundo Pieres were difficult for Equuleus to defend as they effectively played off each other, while also converting shots from distance. A fast-paced game with few fouls saw Pilot race out to a 7-3 lead in the opening half, thanks to four goals from Facundo Pieres, along with a goal from substitute Mia Bray, who played well in her second game. Dominating the throw-ins 8-2 in the opening half allowed Pilot to control the possession and build a large lead.
The second half began following a similar trend, with Gonzalito Pieres scoring two goals on assists from Facundo as Pilot extended their lead to six. With just two chukkers remaining, Pilot was seemingly in control, but the Laprida brothers found a winning formula, with Mariano Gonzalez passing from the back, finding both Magoo and Inaki Laprida on the run. Cutting the deficit in half during the fifth chukker, Equuleus continued their run, displaying exceptional defence that kept Pilot off the scoreboard in the final two chukkers. Mariano Gonzalez’s fourth goal of the game brought Equuleus within one, but they were unable to complete the comeback as Pilot held on for the 10-9 victory.
With one semi-final spot remaining, Cessna Polo Team overwhelmed SD Farms in an impressive victory. Led by Felipe Marquez, who accurately began the Cessna attack and frustrated the SD Farms team into multiple turnovers. Cessna started quickly in the game grabbing a 3-0 advantage in the opening chukker after goals from Marquez, Ezequiel Ferrario and Chip Campbell. Maintaining their three-goal lead in the second chukker, Cessna played a defensive style that slowed down their scoring chances but also prevented SD Farms from closing the deficit. A scoreless third chukker saw Cessna remain in control with the 5-2 lead, while SD Farms converted just 1 of their 4 penalty attempts in the first half.
The defensive battle continued into the second half with Cessna failing to score for the second consecutive chukker, while SD Farms chipped into the lead for the first time in the game after a penalty 3 from Pelon Escapite. The fifth chukker sealed the game for Cessna, outscoring SD Farms 4-0, with Marquez in the starring role, adding three of his five goals in the game. Unable to produce a consistent attack, SD Farms was unable to fight their way back within reach, ultimately falling to Cessna 11-5.