Team Profile: Las Monjitas
The one team remaining with a chance to capture the $1,000,000 prize in the 2020 Gauntlet of Polo®, Las Monjitas enters the quarterfinals of the USPA Gold Cup® against Patagones, with their sights set on capturing the second of three tournaments. A high-powered offense featuring Camilo Bautista, Mackenzie Weisz, Francisco Elizalde and David Stirling, Las Monjitas produced an exciting start to the season, capturing the C.V. Whitney Cup with an undefeated 4-0 record, including a nail-biting 11-10 victory in the finals against La Indiana on the U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
Extending their win streak to six after two games in the USPA Gold Cup®, Las Monjitas were handed their first loss of the season in a 20-11 defeat to Dutta Corp, but remained atop Bracket III, turning their focus to the quarterfinals. A step behind in last year’s Gauntlet of Polo®, where they were the runner-up in both the C.V. Whitney Cup and the CaptiveOne U.S. Open Polo Championship®, Las Monjitas has entered 2020 with a revitalized attack that has highlighted the play of the tournament leading goal scorer, Francisco Elizalde. Averaging 6.7 goals per game, Elizalde has validated his increase to a 9-goal handicap, matching any player in the tournament with exceptional offense from both the field and the penalty line.
The addition of 10-goaler, David Stirling, fresh off his seventh consecutive Argentine Open title with La Dolfina, has freed up Elizalde to attack forward relentlessly. Stirling has excelled in his role at the back of the game in the #4 position, managing possession and the direction of play, giving Las Monjitas an advantage of their opponents. Tied for third in assists, Stirling often ignites the Las Monjitas counterattack, effectively intercepting the ball to quickly find a teammate on the run. With a lot of focus deservedly so on Elizalde, Stirling has also found a common receiver in young Mackenzie Weisz.
At just 17 years old, American Mackenzie Weisz has been a standout player during the season, scoring 2.3 goals per game and creating multiple offensive opportunities in each game for Las Monjitas. Excelling in his first action at the high-goal level, Weisz has grown through the ranks of junior polo, playing in notable National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) to prepare for the high-pressure polo at IPC. Shooting a perfect six for six from the penalty line, Weisz has extended his impact beyond the 3-goal handicap he carries as a reliable player for Las Monjitas.
Leading the Las Monjitas organization, Camilo Bautista has been instrumental in their success, building a dominant team capable of challenging Ellerstina and La Dolfina in Argentina, while also breaking through in the USA in 2020. A constant presence in the #1 position, Bautista works tirelessly to provide space for his three teammates, often marking higher rated opponents, as he will against Gonzalo Avendano.