Iconica and Dundas to Face-Off for Ylvisaker Cup
Determining the finalists for the Ylvisaker Cup hosted by the Wellington Polo Tour (WPT) in Wellington, Florida, Wednesday’s action in the 18-goal tournament kicked-off at National Polo Center – Wellington (NPC) between Iconica (Maureen Brennan, Mariano ‘Peke’ Gonzalez, Lucas ‘Luckitas’ Criado Jr., Santos Merlos) and Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Badiloa, Ezequiel ‘Gallego’ Martinez Ferrario, Cody Ellis). Serving as a qualifier for the inaugural 18-Goal Super-Series Championship at NPC, Iconica continued to demonstrate their prowess in the Super-Series following up their recent Joe Barry Memorial victory by booking their ticket to a second consecutive final with a 13-10 win over Tonkawa.
Reconvening on NPC Field 4, the second semifinal match featured a battle between La Fe (Rufino Merlos, Roberto ‘Robi’ Bilbao, Francisco Elizalde, Louis Devaleix) and Dundas (Sarah Siegel-Magness, Paco de Narvaez Jr., Tomas Panelo, Geronimo Obregon). Each entering the semifinals undefeated, a commanding start from Dundas led with a 6-goal effort from Panelo ultimately pushed Dundas to the 14-9 victory.
Initiating the action at Isla Carroll East, Iconica jumped on offense attack with back-to-back goals from Merlos opening the scoring for Iconica followed by an impressive six-goal effort, including three off the mallet of Criado Jr. Managing just goal on a single shot in the first two chukkers, Tonkawa finally found their rhythm, as contributions from Ferrario and Badiloa pulled their team within four goals at the half.
Striking from the field in the fourth, Ellis kept the pressure on Iconica’s defense with back-to-back goals, as Badiloa brought Tonkawa within striking distance, but a quick response from Criado Jr. and Gonzalez kept Dundas in the lead 12-8. Holding Tonkawa to just four shots and two-goals in the sixth, one final drive from Gonzalez sealed Iconica’s victory 13-10.
In the second semifinal, Obregon and de Narvaez Jr. reached the scoreboard first for Dundas, as their defensive efforts managed to La Fe’s formidable shooter Elizalde to one goal from the field. Adding three second, Dundas sized control of the third chukker on four unanswered goals, including two from Obregon to take a dominant 11-3 lead at the break.
Regrouping for the second half, La Fe outscored their opponents for the first time in the match, with Elizalde finally breaking through on five unanswered goals from the field. Accounting for all of Dundas’ offensive efforts in the second half, Panelo responded with his fourth in open play to maintain a 14-8 advantage. Committing just two fouls in the match, Dundas’ ability to hold La Fe to sixteen shots and no penalty attempts, combined with a powerful offensive start and consistent play delivered Dundas the 14-9 win.
Ylvisaker Cup Final:
Saturday, February 12 at 2:00PM ET
National Polo Center – Wellington, Wellington, Florida
U.S. Polo Assn. Field One
Photo Credit ©Agustina Fonda