Las Monjitas and Ellerstina Impress on Day 4 of Argentine Open
The fourth day of the 2018 Abierto Argentino de Polo saw a strong defensive performance from Las Monjitas in the 16-5 victory over La Canada Angiocor-DRF, while Ellerstina played their first game after winning the Hurlingham Open, continuing their elite play in a dominant 15-5 victory over Cria Yatay at Palermo.
From the opening throw-in Las Monjitas were quick on the ball, pressuring La Canada throughout the game and providing little time and space to their opponents. La Canada was held to one shot or less over the first seven chukkas of the game, with Las Monjitas’ Hilario Ulloa leading the defensive effort. Despite committing two more fouls, Las Monjitas received seven more penalty attempts, resulting in Sapo Caset finishing with a game high 10 goals to lead Las Monjitas to victory.
After scoring inside the first minute of the game, Caset proved to be an offensive force for Las Monjitas, adding three consecutive goals from the penalty line to give Las Monjitas the early 4-0 lead. Caset wasn’t finished as he added another goal from the field, scoring the first five goals of the game. La Canada were unable to match the pace of Las Monjitas in the opening half and despite being down 5-0, they were fortunate to not have a larger deficit with Las Monjitas converting just two of their first seven shot attempts. La Canada scored their first two goals of the game off the mallet of Ezequiel Ferrario, but Las Monjitas continued to extend their lead, pushing their advantage to eight, with Caset adding three more goals to his total before the end of the half.
Las Monjitas continued to struggle with their accuracy from the field, dropping to 33%, but their defensive performance allowed them to continue controlling open play as La Canada were unable to generate consistent offense. Ulloa’s standout defense translated to offense in the second half, where he scored a goal in the sixth and seventh chukkas. Las Monjitas’ aggressive defense resulted in 13 fouls, however all but two were spot hits, keeping La Canada off the penalty line. Las Monjitas ran away with the game and claimed the 16-5 victory.
The second game of the day saw Ellerstina overcome a slow start to produce a stretch of 10 consecutive goals, leaving Cria Yatay searching for answers throughout the second half of the game. The duo of Gonzalito and Facundo Pieres were effective in the game, combining for 10 goals and working together to create the quick transition from defense to offense that Cria Yatay struggled to defend. With Cria Yatay needing to generate quick offense to make a comeback, they made just one of their final eight shots in the 15-5 defeat.
Cria Yatay battled with Ellerstina over the opening half, as the two teams were deadlocked in a 1-1 tie at the end of the first chukka. After Valerio Zubiaurre scored on the opening throw-in, Cria Yatay was held off the scoresheet until the third chukka with Gonzalito Pieres pushing Ellerstina into a 3-1 lead, assisting on their team’s opening goal while adding one of his own to end the second chukka. Cria Yatay continued to provide a determined stand, holding off the Ellerstina attack and bringing the game into a 3-3 tie after goals from Joaquin Pittaluga and Ignacio Laprida. Ellerstina continued to heavily outshoot Cria Yatay and were finally able to distance themselves, scoring four consecutive goals to finish the half and hold a 7-3 lead.
Ellerstina carried their momentum into the second half, swarming Cria Yatay and using their defense to hold Cria Yatay off the scoreboard while adding six more unanswered goals, pushing the lead to 10. Gonzalito Pieres led the potent Ellerstina attack, finishing with seven goals in the game, with Magoo Laprida finally ending the run with his first goal of the game. Cria Yatay scored just two goals over the final five chukkas, as they were unable to match the pace of the 40-goal team, with Ellerstina opening their tournament with a 15-5 victory.