Team Profile: Beverly Polo
Emerging as the victor in the opening game of the Joe Barry Memorial, Beverly Polo enters Sunday’s match-up against Santa Clara on the Home of the U.S. Polo Assn – Field 1 with a chance to book their spot in the final. Beginning the season with two difficult games against Palm Beach Equine, Beverly Polo exacted their revenge in the second game with a thrilling 12-11 overtime victory that was highlighted by the impressive game-winning goal from Tolito Ocampo.
A newcomer to the high-goal scene at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC), Beverly Polo is led by Bill Ballhaus, who brings his team to Wellington from Beverly Equestrian in The Plains, Virginia. Jumping in the saddle for the first time in 2011, Ballhaus has quickly risen to join 18-goal competition, highlighted by his performance at the conclusion of Wednesday’s game. With Beverly Polo trailing in the second half, Ballhaus scored two vital goals, including their 11th goal that pushed the game into overtime. Finding his stride in the #1 position, Ballhaus has effectively pulled Beverly Polo forward, converting 50% of his shots through two games, while working well off the ball.
Leading the team averaging 4.5 goals, Hilario Figueras has justified his increase from a 3-goal to 4-goal handicap in 2021, providing an impressive performance from the penalty line where he has converted 7 of his 8 attempts on the season. From the #4 position, Figueras has been the anchor of Beverly Polo’s defense thus far, holding the responsibility of taking their set plays to produce opportunities for his teammates downfield. Still finding his moments to race forward in the game, Figueras brought the ball in front of Palm Beach Equine’s goal to set up the overtime winning goal for Ocampo.
Alongside Figueras, Jorge “Tolito” Fernandez Ocampo Jr. has proven to be a standout player for Beverly Polo. After venturing into the arena in Virginia where he won Most Valuable Player in his first USPA arena tournament, Ocampo has returned to outdoor play in remarkable fashion, leading the team with seven field goals and playing end-to-end polo in the #3 position. With the game on the line in overtime, Ocampo won the throw-in, received a foul, and then found the loose ball to send Beverly Polo to victory last Wednesday. Finding instant chemistry beside Figueras and Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Ocampo will continue to be a player to watch throughout the 18-goal season at IPC.
Few players have had more success in the Joe Barry Memorial in recent years than Lucas Diaz Alberdi. Winning in 2019 with Dutta Corp and in 2020 with Palm Beach Equine, Alberdi has his sights set on a third consecutive title with Beverly Polo, playing the prototypical #2 position. Working tirelessly in the middle of the game to free up space for both Ocampo and Figueras, Alberdi has been a key figure in Beverly Polo’s offense, leading the team with four assists. Adding his two goals, Alberdi has been directly involved with half of Beverly Polo’s field goals, providing a balanced offense that will have Santa Clara’s attention on Sunday.