March 4th, 2013 Add comment
Alegria wins C. V. Whitney Cup, 14-10Villa Del Lago takes Iglehart Cup; and Orchard Hill rides off with Les Armour Cup
By Alex Webbe, US Senior Correspondent
By Alex Pacheco
An action-packed day of polo had three cup titles being awarded with two at the 26-goal level and one in the International Polo Club’s final 20-goal tournament of the year.
Two years ago Lechuza Caracas scored an11-7 win in the finals of the C. V. Whitney Cup over a Hawks team led by Mariano Aguerre and Julian Mannix. This year Aguerre and Mannix exacted their revenge as they captured the 2013 C. V. Whitney Championship in a 14-10 win Sunday afternoon at the International Polo club in Wellington.
Polito Pieres got Lechuza on the scoreboard with the first goal of the game some 4 minutes into play with a shot from the field. Alegria answered just a minute later with a penalty conversion from Facundo Obregon to knot it up at 1-1. Juan Martin gave the lead back to Lechuza, 2-1, with his first goal of the game. A Lechuza foul sent Obregon to the penalty line where he converted his second penalty shot of the day with 25 seconds left in the chukker. After one period of play it was all even at 2-2.
The veteran Lechuza team took back the lead in the second with team captain Victor Vargas scoring for a 3-2 lead. Pieres took the ensuing throw-in and raced 150 yards down the field to score and put Lechuza on top, 4-2. Penalties got Lechuza into trouble again with Mariano Aguerre scoring on a 90-yard penalty shot two-and-one-half minutes into the chukker, 4-3. Obregon converted another 30-yard penalty shot in the final 26 seconds of the period for another tie, 4-4.
For the first time all day, Alegria shut down the Lechuza attack in the third chukker and picked up single goals from Hilario Ulloa and Obregon. Obregon converted another penalty goal in the opening seconds of the period to give Alegria the lead, 5-4, a lead they would never again relinquish. Hilario Ulloa extended that lead to two goals, 6-4 with his first goal on the day. The two teams left the field at the end of the first half of play with Alegria ahead by two goals, 6-4.
Nero opened the second half with a goal from the field to cut the Alegria lead to a single goal, 6-5, and Pieres made a spectacular save on a shot on goal by Aguerre, stopping on the goal line and clearing it from the defensive zone of play. A 30-yard and a 40-yard penalty conversion by Obregon closed out the chukker with Alegria extending its lead to three goals, 8-5.
Pieres converted a penalty shot for a goal and Vargas added his second on the day to cut the Alegria lead to a single goal, 8-7 before Alegria could respond. Aguerre scored his second goal of the game to stop the Alegria skid, 9-7. Pieres scored again on a penalty shot, 9-8, but Alegria closed out the chukker with a pair of goals from Ulloa and another penalty conversion from Obregon. With a single chukker left in the game, Alegria boasted an 11-9 advantage over a struggling Lechuza polo team.
Francisco Elizalde got Lechuza on the scoreboard in the opening minute of the sixth chukker, but another penalty goal by Obregon and a goal from the field from Julian Mannix had Alegria ahead by five goals, 14-9, with four minutes left in regulation time. Vargas broke loose, once again, scoring his third goal of the game, but that would be where it would end. Following a missed 40-yard penalty shot by Lechuza, Alegria took control of the ball and ran the clock out in an impressive 14-10 win.
“We stayed organized today,” offered Obregon when asked the key to the team’s success. “Mariano (Obregon) is a great captain, and he keeps us all in line,” he added. “Julian (Mannix) and Hilario (Ulloa) had good games and we all supported one another.”
“We’re strong everywhere,” said the veteran 9-goaler Mariano Aguerre. “We’re strong in the middle of the field with Hilario (Ulloa) and Facundo (Obregon) and we have youth, experience and we’re well-mounted throughout the game,” he smiled. “We’re comfortable with each other.”
Twenty-one-year-old Julian Mannix gave credit to the entire Alegria organization for the win. “Everyone’s happy for what we achieved (today). It’s not just four guys playing, it’s a whole team effort,” he said. “Everyone in the barns, everyone pulling for us, it’s a lot of people’s work that goes into a win like this. So we’re all happy,” he said.
Obregon set the pace for the day with a game high eight goals, all on penalty shots, and was named MVP for his efforts on both offense and defense. Ulloa added three goals for the win with Aguerre scoring twice and Mannix getting credit for a single goal. Ulloa’s 7-year-old Chestnut American Thoroughbred mare, Mia, received Best Playing Pony honors. Pieres led the Lechuza attack with four goals. Vargas was credited with three goals. Nero scored twice and Elizalde registered a single goal in the loss.
ORCHARD HILL 11, ERG 10
Earlier in the day, Orchard Hill registered an 11-10 win in the 26-goal Lester Armour Cup, the subsidiary to the C. V. Whitney Cup.
ERG 9-goaler Agustin Merlos scored the first goal of the game in the first chukker, but was promptly answered by a four goal barrage that gave Orchard Hill the lead, 4-1 after the opening seven minutes of play. Three goals from Matias MacDonough (two on penalty conversions) and a goal from the field from Andrade sent Orchard Hill off the field with a three goal lead.
ERG regrouped and returned to the field in the second period focused and determined. Single ERG goals from Paco de Narvaez and Eduardo Astrada and Merlos tied it up at 5-5, with Matias MacDonough scoring the only goal of the chukker for Orchard Hill on a 60-yard penalty shot.
The third period belonged to ERG, as they shut down the Orchard Hill offense and picked up a pair of goals from the field from Eduardo Astrada. At the end of the first half, ERG enjoyed a two goal, 7-5 advantage.
Both defenses tightened in the second half. Brazilian 8-goaler Rodrigo Andrade converted a penalty shot for the only goal of the chukker as Orchard Hill cut the ERG lead down to a single goal, 7-6.
Orchard Hill played as though they were possessed in the fifth. Andrade opened the chukker with a goal from the field to tie it at 7-7; followed by a penalty goal from Matias MacDonough to give Orchard Hill the lead, 8-7. Merlos responded with a goal from ERG to tie it at 8-8. Steve Van Andel scored his first goal of the game and put Orchard Hill in the lead, 9-8. A 60-yard penalty conversion by Matias Macdonough ended the chukker with Orchard Hill in control of the game, 10-8.
Matias Macdonough converted a 60-yard penalty shot to open the sixth chukker as Orchard Hill extended its lead to three goals, 11-8. ERG fought to get back into the game, picking up a pair of goals from the field from Merlos, but time was on Orchard Hill’s side as they rode out the 11-10 victory.
Matias MacDonough scored seven goals on the day (six on penalty shots). Andrade added three goals to the mix and Van Andel accounted for a goal in the victory. Merlos led the ERG offense with six goals (two on penalty conversions) and was named MVP. Astrada was credited with three goals and de Narvaez scored once in a losing effort.
Matias Macdonough’s Barrista was honored as Best Playing Pony.
VILLA DEL LAGO 13, PORT MAYACA 12
The anticipated final of the 2013 Iglehart Cup fell apart when Crab Orchard withdrew from the competition, allowing the team they beat in the semifinals, Port Mayaca, to advance to the finals against Villa Del Lago in the morning contest.
Villa Del Lago had to spot the 19-goal Port Mayaca team one goal by handicap, but an aggressive Villa Del Lago offense took advantage of a number of first chukker fouls. Magoo Laprida converted on two of them for an early 2-1 lead. Marianito Obregon scored on a penalty shot for Port Mayaca, who trailed 2-1 after the opening period of play.
Two more goals in the second chukker for Villa Del Lago had Laprida converting a 40-yard penalty shot with Agustin Obregon adding a goal from the field. Port Mayaca got a single goal from Marianito Obregon but Villa Del Lago continued to hold the lead, 4-3.
Villa Del Lago stretched their led to two goals in the third with Laprida accounting for all three goals (two on penalty shots). Port Mayaca fired back with single goals from Marianito Obregon (penalty goal) and Stevie Orthwein. At the end of the first half Vila Del Lago was leading by two goals, 7-5.
The two teams played evenly in the fourth. Villa Del Lago added two more goals from Laprida (ne on a penalty conversion) and two penalty conversions from Carlucho Arellano. Villa Del Lago continued to hold a two goal lead, 9-7.
The pattern remained the same in the fifth chukker with Laprida adding two more goals (one on a penalty shot) and Port Mayaca answering with single goals from Marianito Obregon and Arellano (penalty goal). With one period remaining in regulation time Villa Del Lago continued to defend their two goal 11-9 lead.
Port Mayaca made a run for it in the final chukker. Single goals from Arellano and Marianito Obregon tied it up at 11-11. Guille Aguero scored the go-ahead goal for Villa Del Lago, 12-11 in the waning moments of the period, but an Arellano penalty conversion locked it up again at 12-12. Fittingly enough, Laprida’s eleventh goal of the match carried Villa Del Lago to the 13-12 victory in the final 20-goal tournament of the season, the Iglehart Cup.
Laprida registered eleven goals on the day, seven on penalty conversions, and received MVP honors. Teammates Aguero and Agustin Obregon added single goals for the win. Arellano and Marianito Obregon scored five times each for Port Mayaca. Stevie Orthwein added a goal in the loss.
Stevie Orthwein’s Hazardwas named Best Playing Pony.