By Alex Webbe, US Senior Corresponent. Photo by Alex Pacheco.
Coca-Cola won’t get the opportunity to defend their 2015 Ylvisaker Cup Championship as they came up on the short end of a12-7 battle against Dubai in quarterfinal play Sunday afternoon at the International Polo Club.
Four games took place on Sunday with Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Facundo Pieres, Peke Gonzalez and Lucas Criado), Palm Beach Illustrated (Nacho Badiola, Jared Zenni, Facundo Obregon and Jesse Bray), Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Carlos Gracida, Diego Cavanagh and Alejo Taranco) and Valiente (Robert Jornayvaz, Tommy Beresford, Felipe Viana and Adolfo Cambiaso) all recording wins to advance to the tournament semifinals on Wednesday, February 24th.
Orchard Hill got the ball rolling with a 12-10 win over Enigma (Jerome Wirth, Jeff Hall, Matias MacDonough and Carlucho Arellano), in one of two morning contests.
Lucas Criado put the first point on the scoreboard at the 4:53 mark, 1-0. Carlucho Arellano countered with a 30-yard penalty shot less than a minute later to tie the game at 1-1. Neither team was able to generate any significant offense for the balance of the game and the 1-1 score stood.
Argentine 10-goaler Facundo Pieres converted a 60-yard penalty shot for a goal in the opening 30 seconds of the second chukker, 2-1. Arellano responded in kind as he scored on a 30-yard penalty shot for a goal, 2-2. In the ensuing throw-in, Pieres passed the ball to Criado who passed it back to Pieres who found teammate Peke Gonzalez with a pass that was converted into a goal, 3-2, Orchard Hill. Two minutes later Pieres scored on a pass from Criado that ended the chukker with Orchard Hill on top of a 4-2 score.
Two minutes into the third period Pieres converted a 30-yard penalty shot for a goal and a three goal lead, 5-2. Enigma responded with a goal from the field from Matias MacDonough and a penalty goal from Jeff Hall, 5-4. Criado closed out the scoring in the chukker with one minute on the clock and Orchard Hill left the field at the end of the first half in front, 6-4.
The Orchard Hill attack continued into the second half. An Enigma foul send Pieres to the penalty line where he converted a 60-yard shot for a goal, 7-4. Criado added his third goal of the day less than a minute later. Enigma trailed by four goals, 8-4. Arellano countered with a 40-yard penalty goal, 8-5. Pieres scored the final goal of the fourth period and Orchard Hill found themselves on top of a 9-5 score with two chukkers left to play.
Pieres demonstrated is prowess with a mallet, scoring back-to-back goals that put Orchard Hill in command of an 11-5 game. Hall answered with a goal from the field and Arellano converted his fourth penalty shot of the game, but Enigma continued to trail Orchard Hill, 11-7.
Pieres scored from the field in the sixth chukker to make it 12-7, when the Enigma rally occurred. Arellano scored on a 30-yard penalty shot with 4:42 on the clock and followed it up with a 60-yard goal on a Safety, at 3:02. Hall cut the lead to two goals with a goal from the field with 1:16 showing on the game clock when time ran out on the Enigma team and Orchard Hill celebrated the 12-10 victory.
Pieres scored three of his game-high eight goals on penalty conversions. Criado added three goals from the field and Gonzalez scored once for the win. Arellano’s seven goals set the pace for Enigma, with all seven coming from the penalty line. Hall accounted for two goals and MacDonough added a goal.
Palm Beach Illustrated 9, White Birch 3
Peter Brant would like to think that it was his absence from the team in Sunday’s other 10am quarterfinal that saw a talented young foursome in Palm Beach Illustrated, get off to a slow start before dismantling White Birch (Tomas Alberdi, Ezequiel Ferrario, Mariano Aguerre and Nico Escobar), 9-3.
Playing with Nico Escobar in place of team captain Peter Brant, White Birch got the first goal of the game on a 30-yard penalty conversion from Argentine 7-goaler Ezequiel Ferrario. Both teams focused on their defenses in the early goings with the first period ending with the 1-0 White Birch lead.
A second penalty goal from Ferrario was countered with a goal from the field from Nacho Badiola. Neither team could add to it and White Birch continued to hold on to the one goal advantage, 2-1.
Third chukker play saw Ferrario score his first goal from the field and his third of the game as White Birch extended their lead to two goals, 3-1. A goal from the field from Jesse Bray was followed by a 30-yard penalty conversion for a goal that leveled the score at 3-3 to end the first half.
A determined Palm Beach Illustrated team charged onto the field in the fourth chukker. Pressing the attack, they caused a number of White Birch fouls that sent Obregon to the penalty line. Scoring on three opportunities Obregon gave Palm Beach Illustrated a 6-3 lead that was supported by shutout defense.
White Birch settled down in the fifth but failed to score once again. Badiola scored the only goal of the chukker as Palm Beach Illustrated padded their lead, 7-3.
White Birch entered the final chukker a demoralized team, trailing by four goals, but there was no letup from the Palm Beach Illustrated team. Two more goals from Badiola went unanswered as Palm Beach Illustrated kept White Birch from scoring over the course of the final three chukkers for the 9-3 victory.
Badiola and Obregon scored four goals apiece. All four of Obregon’s came from the penalty line while all four of Badiola’s goals came from the field. Bray added a goal for the win. Ferrario scored two of his three goals on penalty shots.
Dubai 12, Coca-Cola 7
Coca-Cola rode onto the field Sunday afternoon as the defending Ylvisaker Champion but someone must have forgotten to tell Dubai. After scoring the opening goal of the game (a goal from the field from Sugar Erskine) Coca-Cola was charged with a Penalty 1, awarding Dubai with a goal. Diego Cavanagh followed up with a gal from the field and a 30-yard penalty goal that saw Dubai taking the lead, 3-1.
Cavanagh’s third goal of the game came on a 60-yard penalty conversion to make it 4-1. Erskine scored on successive penalty shots for Coca-Cola that had them to within one goal of the lead, 4-3.
Dubai team captain Rashid Albwardy scored his first goal of the day to put his team ahead by two goals, 5-3. Steve Krueger scored the only other goal of the chukker with 31 seconds on the game clock. Coca-Cola continued to trail, 5-4.
Cavanagh opened the second half with a 60-yard penalty conversion to make it 6-4 and added to it with a goal from the field, 7-4. Erskine scored the final goal of the chukker with 16 seconds on the clock. After four chukkers, Dubai continued to trail, 7-5.
Carlitos Gracida scored the first goal of the fifth chukker from the field. Cavanagh added a goal to make it 9-5. Once again Krueger closed out the chukker with a goal with 58 seconds on the clock. Dubai remained in control of the match, 9-6.
Gracida’s second goal of the game came at the 6:54 mark, followed by two penalty goals from Cavanagh. Erskine scored the final goal of the match but it was Dubai with the 12-7 win.
Cavanagh led all scoring with eight goals (six on penalty conversions). Gracida added two goals and Albwardi scored once. Erskine’s four goals (two on penalty shots) led the way for Coca-Cola. Krueger added two goals with Arellano scoring a goal.
Valiente 9, Tonkawa 6
In the feature match of the day it was Valiente with a 9-6 win over Tonkawa Valiente received one goal by handicap and added first chukker goals by Adolfo Cambiaso (40-yard penalty conversion) and Robert Jornayvaz. Gonzalo Deltour countered with a goal for Tonkawa who trailed 3-1 after the first period.
Cambiaso added another penalty goal in the second but Tonkawa picked up goals from team captain Jeff Hildebrand and Deltour. Valiente continued to lead but Tonkawa was within a goal of them at 4-3.
Goals were hard to come by in the third with both teams struggling to control the ball. A Tonkawa foul sent Cambiaso to the penalty line at the 4:38 mark of the chukker where he converted a 40-yard penalty shot for a goal to end the first half with Valiente winning, 5-3.
Deltour and Cambiaso traded penalty goals in the opening minutes of the second half. Jornayvaz scored his second goal of the game as Valiente stretched their lead to three goals, 7-4.
Tommy Beresford opened the fifth chukker with a goal from the field. Deltour countered with a goal from the field a minute later. Neither team was able to score for the balance of the period as Valiente continued to lead, 8-5.
Tonkawa continued to try to pressure the Valiente defense in the final period of the game. Deltour converted a penalty shot from 40-yards out that cut the Valiente lead down to a manageable two goals with 6:12 left in the game. There was very little give by either side as Cambiaso converted a penalty shot from 60-ayrds out for the final goal of the game and a 9-6 Valiente win.
Cambiaso scored all five of his goals on penalty shots. Jornayvaz scored twice in support with Beresford adding a goal as well. The team also received a goal on a Penalty 1. Deltour scored five goals in the Tonkawa loss (two on penalty shots). Hildebrand scored the team’s other goal for the win.
Valiente 5-goaler Felipe Viana earned MVP honors while A Sebastian Merlos mare, Guitara, was named Best Playing Pony.
The semifinals of the 2016 Ylvisaker Cup are scheduled to take place at the International Polo Club on Wednesday, February 24th at 1:30pm between Orchard Hill and Dubai. The second semifinal of the Ylvisaker Cup will feature Valiente and Palm Beach Illustrated in a 4pm match.