La Dolfina Knocks El Paraíso Out of Tortugas Open With 15-5 Victory
By Darlene Ricker
Polo is not the kind of sport one can quantify in numbers. A player’s handicap can be misleading, as it can vary in different countries and a player may perform above or below his rating on any given day. But when you pit four veteran 10-goalers—particularly when their last names are Cambiaso, Nero, Stirling and MacDonough—against a 35-goal team in their tournament debut, the outcome is fairly predictable.
And so it was on Day 2 of the 2016 Tortugas Open at Tortugas Country Club. La Dolfina decimated El Paraíso 15-5 on Saturday, giving El Paraíso their second loss and eliminating them from the tournament. Although El Paraíso showed up with serious ammunition, even the triumvirate of 9-goalers Agustín Merlos 9, Ignacio Toccalino and Ignacio Heguy, fortified by Santiago Toccalino (8 goals), couldn’t hold up. To make matters worse, Santiago Toccalino cut his forehead in the second quarter but played through as best he could.
The outcome was clear from the get-go. The tidal wave of La Dolfina kept El Paraíso scoreless for the first two chukkas and established a 5-point lead. La Dolfina never lost their momentum, systematically stretching into a 10-goal lead. The last chukka opened 13-3 and Dolfina clung to that advantage for a colossal 15-5 win.
Adolfo Cambiaso and Pablo Macdonough led the scoring, with six and five goals respectively. As always, Juan Martín Nero was a defensive stonewall, at other times and smoothly swapping the ball with Cambiaso. Nero and David Sterling each scored twice from the field. Merlos and Ignacio Toccalino carried the scoring for El Paraíso, making the team’s five total goals between them.
The Tortugas Open continues Monday, with Ellerstina vying against Washington. It looks to be an interesting game, as each team will be playing with a sub. Mariano Aguerre replaces Polito Pieres, who is on suspension for having a “difference of opinion” with an umpire. For Washington, Tomás García del Río plays in place of Ezequiel Martínez Ferrario, who was sidelined with an injury.