Tonkawa Overwhelms Stable Door Polo to Qualify for CaptiveOne U.S. Open Polo Championship® Quarter-Finals
The CaptiveOne U.S. Open Polo Championship® continued at the International Polo Club Palm Beach with Tonkawa overwhelming Stable Door Polo to claim the second quarter-final spot in Bracket IV, while Iconica needed overtime to defeat La Indiana 8-7, remaining undefeated to capture Bracket II.
A relentless and efficient offense for Tonkawa amassed 22 shots in a dominating performance against Stable Door Polo, led by nine goals from Sapo Caset. Finding gaps in the Stable Door Polo defence with a variety of runs and passes, Tonkawa assisted on nine of their 12 field goals in a team-based attack that Stable Door Polo was unable to slow. Committing zero fouls in the first half, Tonkawa played to their strengths in open play, claiming an early 4-2 lead, despite shooting just 2 for 8 from the field. Stable Door Polo struggled to generate offense of their own, a step behind against Tonkawa’s quick counter-attack to score just two goals over the first three chukkers. Caset finished the half strong for Tonkawa, controlling possession to score three unanswered goals, extending his team’s lead to five.
Looking to reduce the deficit, Stable Door Polo’s Victorino Ruiz Jorba fought to bring his team back within reach, scoring two goals and taking advantage of the extra possessions his team received from four Tonkawa fouls. Holding a large lead, Caset stayed further back in the game and saw Sterling Giannico and Agustin Merlos score goals from the field to continue their stronghold on the game. Any hope of a Stable Door Polo comeback was quickly erased in a perfect fifth chukker that produced 3 for 3 shooting from the field and 2 for 2 from the penalty line to extend the lead seven. Caset led the potent Tonkawa offense with four goals in the chukker to cruise to the commanding eight-goal victory and secure their spot in the quarter-finals.
The second game of the day needed overtime in a defensive battle that was ultimately decided in the efficiency of Iconica from the field. Michael Bickford and Tomas Garcia del Rio led the attack for La Indiana but were forced to shoot consistently outside of 40 yards, contained by an organized Iconica defence. Finishing an accurate 7 for 12 from the field, Iconica won the open play battle, beginning with an opening chukker that saw them claim a 3-1 lead. Three players contributed one goal each in a balanced passing attack, giving them the early edge over La Indiana. Iconica was held to just one goal for the remainder of the first half, while La Indiana fought back into a 4-4 tie led by two penalty conversions from Facundo Obregon.
Held scoreless for the second consecutive chukker, Iconica conceded the lead to La Indiana after Obregon’s third penalty conversion of the game, but the score remained low in a defensive style of game. Reclaiming a one-goal lead behind the duo of Peke Gonzalez and Sebastian Merlos, the outcome of the game was to be decided in the final chukker in the back and forth affair. Two goals in quick succession saw the lead change hands once again, with Iconica’s indiscipline threatening their undefeated record. Before time expired, Peke Gonzalez restored the tie with his third goal of the game, sending the result into overtime. Receiving a penalty 2 attempt, it was Iconica that claimed the victory, with Gonzalez converting the Penalty 2, securing the top seed in Bracket II leading into the quarter-finals.