Semifinals set in C. V. Whitney Cup

set in C. V. Whitney Cup

Alex Webbe

The semifinals of the 2012 C. V. Whitney Cup, the first
leg of America’s Triple Crown of polo, were set today as eight teams battled
for the four available berths at the International Polo club in Wellington.  In the morning contest Valiente I defeated La
Ensenada 15-10.  The noon match saw Valiente
II ride past Coca-Cola 13-10.  At 2 pm,
Zacara scored an 11-9 win over Piaget, while ERG handed Orchard Hill a 15-11
loss to end the day.

Argentina’s Ernesto Gutierrez and his La Ensenada polo
team made their American debut in a morning game against Bob Jornayvaz’s
Valiente I team in the first of the day’s four C. V. Whitney Cup quarterfinals.

La Ensenada received one goal by handicap from the
26-goal Valiente I team and quickly added to it.  Lucas James gave La Ensenada a 2-0 lead with
a goal from the field, but Valiente I quickly responded with a pair of goals
from Polito Pieres, 2-2.  Matias Magrini put
La Ensenada up 3-2 with his first goal of the game, but Valiente I team captain
Bob Jornayvaz had it all even at 3-3 with a goal from the field.

La Ensenada picked up goals from Magrini and Juan Garcia
Grossi in the second chukker, but Miguel Astrada scored a goal from the field
for Valiente I and Nacho Astrada converted a 60-yard penalty shot.  At the end of two periods of play the score
was all even at 5-5.

Magrini’s third goal of the game opened the scoring in
the third chukker and had La Ensenada on top, 6-5.  Valiente I barreled back into the game with a
pair of goals from Miguel Astrada (one from the field and the other on a
penalty conversion).    It was a give and take first half for the two
teams, but Valiente I managed to eke out a narrow 7-6 lead after the first half
of play.

Magrini led a regrouped La Ensenada tam onto the field in
the fourth chukker as they scored the first three goals of the second
half.  Magrini converted a 40-yard
penalty shot for a goal and added another goal on a 65 yard shot from the field
from an extreme angle, tying the game at 7-7 and then giving La Ensenada an 8-7
advantage.   James scored his second goal
of the game as La Ensenada extended their lead to two goals, 9-7.  Pieres finally got the Valiente I offense going
with a goal from the field followed by a 40-yard penalty goal from Miguel
Astrada, and at the end of four periods of play, it was deadlocked at 9-9.

Two more goals from Miguel Astrada had Valiente I up,
11-10, with the La Ensenada attack being limited to a single goal from the
field from Magrini. 

The final chukker was all Valiente I with Miguel Astrada
adding three more goals (one from the field and two on penalty shots) and Pieres
scoring another goal from the field.  La
Ensenada ran out of gas in their opening game and watched Valiente I ride off with
the 15-10 win.

Miguel Astrada set the pace for Valiente I with nine
goals.  Pieres scored four times and Jornayvaz
and Nacho Astrada added single goals.

Magrini was credited with six goals for La Ensenada.  James scored twice and Grossi added a
goal.  The team received one goal by


Coca-Cola’s high-flying season ground to a halt Saturday
afternoon as Valiente II knocked them out of the C. V. Whitney Cup field with a
13-10 loss.

Coca-Cola had captured the first two tournaments of the
season and destroyed a talent-laden Audi team 14-7 in the 26-goal tournament
opener, but came up short as they faced the combination of 10-goalers Adolfo
Cambiaso, Pelon Stirling and company.

In a stop and start first chukker, Julio Arellano scored
two penalty goals for Coca-Cola while Valiente II answered with a 40-yard penalty
goal from Cambiaso and a goal from the field from Stirling.  After the first seven minutes of play the
score was all even at 2-2.

Valiente II poured the pressure on in the second, picking
up single goals from Cambiaso and Stirling while the team’s defense limited
Coca-Cola to a single penalty goal from Arellano.  Valiente II took the 4-3 lead into the third

Valiente II team captain, Robert Jornayvaz broke through
the Coca-Cola defense and drove the ball through the goalposts for a 5-3 edge
when Coke came alive.  A penalty goal
from Arellano was complimented by a goal from the field from Gillian Johnston
and the first half ended in a 5-5 tie.

In the fourth chukker Valiente II showed why they
selected 6-goaler Matias Zavaleta as their fourth player as he scored three
straight goals from the field in about three minutes, 8-5.  Hilario Ulloa responded with a goal for Coca-Cola
but a 60-yard penalty goal from Cambiaso closed out the scoring in the chukker
with Valiente II holding a 9-6 lead.

Arellano got Coca-Cola back into it in the fifth, scoring
twice from the field, but another goal from Cambiaso kept Valiente II in charge
with a 10-8 edge. 

Valiente II put any mystery as to how the game would end to
rest in the final chukker with Cambiaso scoring twice (once from the field and
once on a penalty shot) and Stirling adding another goal for a 13-8
advantage.  Arellano salvaged some pride
with a pair of goals to end the game, but it was Valiente II with the 13-10

Arellano led all scoring with eight goals.  Johnston and Ulloa added single goals in the

Cambiaso scored six times for Valiente II.  Stirling and Zavaleta added three goals
apiece and Jornayvaz picked up a goal in the win.

11, PIAGET 9

After battling to a 6-6 halftime tie, Zacara captured an
11-9 hard-fought win over a plucky Piaget foursome in the quarterfinals of the
C. V. Whitney Cup Saturday afternoon.

Piaget received three goals by handicap from the 26-goal
Zacara team and went up 4-0 as Brazilian 8-goaler Rodrigo Andrade scored the
game’s first goal from the field.  Zacara
10-goaler Facundo Pieres got right to work, responding with two goals from the
field and a penalty goal.  Piaget
continued to lead after the first chukker of play, but Zacara trailed by a
single goal, 4-3.

Negro Astrada opened the second chukker with a Piaget
goal, but a 40-yard penalty conversion from Pieres and a goal from the field
from Magoo Laprida had the score all even at 5-5 as the period ended.

Joaquin Pittaluga put Zacara in the lead, 6-5, with his
first goal of the afternoon, but Piaget’s Nic Roldan countered it with a goal
of his own for a 6-6 halftime tie.

Unanswered fourth chukker goals from Laprida and
Pittaluga gave Zacara an 8-6 lead as Piaget struggled to organize an effective
attack in the second half. 

Laprida scored the opening goal of the fifth chukker,
9-6, but Piaget charged back.  A well-earned
goal from the field from Piaget team captain Melissa Ganzi on a run was
followed by a 40-yard penalty conversion from Roldan.  Pieres countered with a penalty goal of his
own, however, and at the end of the fifth chukker, Zacara continued to lead by
two goals, 10-8.

Pieres scored Zacara’s only goal of the final chukker on
a penalty shot for an 11-8 lead.  Piaget
fought back, with a goal from the field from Roldan, but in spite of several
opportunities, were unable to get any closer. 
The final horn sounded with Zacara taking the game, 11-9.

Pieres led the Zacara attack with six goals.  Laprida added three goals and Pittaluga
scored twice.

Roldan scored three goals for Piaget.  Ganzi, Andrade and Astrada each added a goal
in the loss.  Piaget received three goals
by handicap.


A 15-11 ERG win over Orchard Hill closed out the day’s
quarterfinals in the C. V. Whitney Cup and set the stage for next Wednesday’s

ERG and Orchard fought tooth and nail through the first
half of play, deadlocking at 8-8 after the first three chukkers of the game.

Agustin scored on three penalty shots and Sebastian
Merlos added two goals from the field as ERG exploded for five first period
goals.  Orchard Hill responded with a
penalty goal from Mariano Gonzalez and a goal from the field from 10-goaler
Pablo MacDonough.  After the first
chukker of the game, ERG led, 5-2.

Paco de Narvaez gave ERG a 6-2 lead with the opening goal
of the second period.  Lucas Criado got
Orchard Hill on the scoreboard with a goal from the field while Gonzalez added
another penalty goal.  Orchard Hill cut
into the lead, but ERG was still in front, 6-4. 

Orchard Hill brought a new attitude to the field with
them in the third.  A pair of goals from
Gonzalez and single goals from MacDonough and Criado had the offense
clicking.  ERG managed single penalty goals
from Agustin Merlos and Sebastian Merlos, but the score was all even at 8-8 at
the end of the first half.

Sebastian Merlos and de Narvaez scored the only goals of
the fourth chukker as a committed defensive effort kept Orchard Hill away from
the goalposts.  With two chukkers left to
play, ERG held on to a 10-8 lead.

Penalties were costly for Orchard Hill in the fifth, with
Agustin Merlos converting three penalty shots for goals.  Gonzalez managed a single penalty goal for
Orchard Hill, but ERG controlled the game and were ahead, 13-9.

Whistles and penalties plagued the final chukker of play
with Agustin Merlos adding two more penalty goals to his total.  Gonzalez added a single penalty goal to the
pot for Orchard Hill and MacDonough scored a goal from the field, but it would
be ERG who would leave the field with a 15-11 win.

Agustin Merlos scored a game high nine goals for
ERG.  Sebastian Merlos added four goals
and de Narvaez scored twice in the win.

Gonzalez was credited with six goals for Orchard
Hill.  MacDonough scored three times and
Criado added a pair of goals in a losing effort.

The semifinals of the 2012 C. V. Whitney Cup are
scheduled for Wednesday, February 29 and will feature Zacara and Valiente II in
a 1 pm contest followed by a 3 pm encounter between Valiente I and ERG.