Palm Beach Illustrated wins Ylvisaker Cup opener, 11–10

Palm Beach
Illustrated wins Ylvisaker Cup opener, 11-10

By Alex Webbe

After a long wet week of no polo due to heavy rains and wet
fields, the International Polo club opened up for Sunday’s opening game of the
20-goal Ylvisaker Cup featuring Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Jeff Hall, Julio
Arellano and Nick Morrison) and Palm Beach Illustrated (Jared Zenni, Tommy
Collingwood, Magoo Laprida and Facundo Obregon) in a match that had Palm Beach
Illustrated holding on for the 11-10 win.

After a tentative opening five minutes of play, Palm Beach
Illustrated exploded with three first chukker goals while shutting out the
impressive Coca-Cola lineup.  Facundo
Obregon scored the first goal of the game for Palm Beach Illustrated followed
by a pair of goals from Jared Zenni for the 3-0 lead.

Magoo Laprida’s first goal of the game in the opening minute
of the second chukker gave Palm Beach Illustrated a 4-0 lead, looking for all
the world to be giant killers, but Coca-Cola made a comeback.  Jeff Hall scored the next two goals of the,
with teammate Julio Arellano cutting the Palm Beach Illustrated lead to a
single goal, 4-3 to end the period.

The third chukker belonged to Coca-Cola as they scored four
more unanswered goals for a, 7-4 halftime advantage.  Hall scored the tying goal less than a minute
into the period.  Arellano gave Coca-Cola
their first lead of the day, 5-4, less than two minutes later.  Gillian Johnston scored at the 5:27 mark and
Arellano converted a 30-yard penalty shot for the 7-4 score.

A determined Palm Beach Illustrated team took the field in
the fourth and immediately pressured the Coca-Cola defense.  Obregon took advantage of a couple of
Coca-Cola fouls to cut the lead to a single goal, 7-6, as his teammates helped
him shut down the Coca-Cola attack.

Three consecutive Palm Beach Illustrated goals in the fifth
had Coca-Cola trailing, 9-7. With 42 seconds on the clock, Arellano split the
goalposts for a score, but Palm Beach Illustrated continued to lead, 9-8.

Laprida’s third goal of the day had Palm Beach Illustrated
on top, 10-8.  Arellano converted a
penalty shot for a goal, 10-9, but that was their last run at Palm Beach
Illustrated.  A costly Penalty 1 (goal
awarded to Palm Beach Illustrated) had Coca-Cola behind by two goals, 11-9,
with under three minutes left on the game clock.  Coca-Cola continued to press, but alert
defense kept them at bay through must of the balance of the match.  Arellano scored the final goal of the period,
but time expired before Coca-Cola could capitalize on the one goal margin.  Palm Beach Illustrated left the field with
the 11-10 win.

Julio Arellano led all scoring with six goals (two on
penalty shots).  Hall scored three times
and Johnston added a goal in the loss. 
Laprida, Obregon and Zenni each scored three times for Palm Beach
Illustrated.  Collingwood added a goal
and the team received one goal by penalty.

Palm Beach Illustrated’s Jared Zenni was named MVP while
Jeff Hall’s eight-year-old black gelding, Christian, received Best Playing Pony honors.

Ylvisaker Cup play continues on Monday with games at 11am (Los
Machitos/Heathcote vs. CT Energia) and noon (Villa Del Lago/Casablanca vs.