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