Team Profile: Patagones

Jan 28, 2022 - 2:10 PM

Patagones

Few teams have the opportunity to bring an identical line-up into 18-goal competition two years apart, but Patagones have done just that with their roster of Joaquin Avendano, Benjamin Avendano, Santiago Wulff and Tomas Garcia del Rio. Capturing the 2020 Ylvisaker Cup to finish off their 18-goal season at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, Patagones returned in 2022, building on their success to win the Joe Barry Memorial.

On top of their recent success, Patagones brings a family element to the field with the Avendano brothers playing alongside their uncle Santiago Wulff. Witnessing the evolution of Joaquin and Benjamin learning to ride, to now competing in some of the top polo across the United States, Wulff provides significance guidance both on and off the field. Playing the #3 position, Wulff is a key piece in Patagones’ strategy, delivering the ball forward to goal, while quickly covering the back of the game when teammate Garcia del Rio drives forward. In the thrilling overtime victory against Beverly Polo, Wulff made a memorable goal line save, leading to the eventual game winning goal for Garcia del Rio. However, Wulff has found scoring opportunities of his own, tied with Joaquin Avendano for the team lead with seven field goals while shooting 44% from the field.

The youngest member of the team at just 21 years of age, Joaquin Avendano has continued to develop his game in recent years, moving up to a 3-goal handicap and producing on the offensive end of the field. Tied for fifth in field goals, Avendano has been effective by converting his chances around goal, shooting 50% for Patagones. After the thrill of capturing the Joe Barry Memorial title, Joaquin raced into the Ylvisaker Cup with a four-goal performance that propelled Patagones to the victory against La Fe.

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Alex Pacheco

Brother Benjamin Avendano provides the second half of the formidable duo at the front of the game, working tirelessly to create space for Wulff and Garcia del Rio behind them. Also shooting 50% from the field, Benjamin has helped keep opposing teams honest defensively, ensuring he is marked, or he will contribute to the scoreboard with four goals on the season. Collecting two assists, they came at opportune moments with both coming in the Joe Barry Memorial final, including the game-winning backhand that secured the overtime goal for Garcia del Rio.

Last seen with Patagones in 2020 Ylvisaker Cup semifinal before suffering an injury, Garcia del Rio has been on a mission in 2022, holding the season lead with 34 goals through five games. His pinpoint accuracy from the penalty line has been crucial to Patagones’ success, converting 28 of his 33 attempts for an incredible 85% accuracy. Furthermore, his 69% shooting from the 60-yard line is a full 30% higher than the next closest player, ensuring Patagones takes advantage of any foul committed by their opponent. Excelling on the global stage, including recently in the 2021 Argentine Triple Crown with Alegria Standard Wealth, Garcia del Rio is also tied for the lead in assists with 9, providing a dynamic offensive threat that can score on individual runs or by passing to goal.

In search of a second consecutive 18-goal title, Patagones faces a familiar foe during the feature game of the week on Sunday at 3pm ET in a rematch against Beverly Polo.

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