After a competitive round of bracket play, four top teams qualified to play cross-bracket semifinals at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida. In the first semifinal held on Sunday, March 11, La Indiana maintained the lead from the onset to claim the first spot 9-6 over Goose Creek. The following Monday morning, March 12, Pilot overpowered Coca-Cola defeating them 13-10. La Indiana will face Pilot in the final this Thursday, March 15, at 3:00pm ET for the chance to immortalize their names on the Iglehart Cup.
Third Time’s a Charm for La Indiana
After a rocky start to the Iglehart Cup and two previous semifinal appearances coming up short, La Indiana regrouped and fought their way into the Iglehart Cup semifinal, challenging Goose Creek for the first position on Sunday, March 11, at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida. Opening strong to secure an early lead, La Indiana’s disciplined play prevented Goose Creek from making any significant comeback, rewarding them with a 9-6 victory.
Launching a swift and aggressive offensive attack, Jeff Hall immediately dominated the opening chukker with a consecutive Penalty 4 conversion and field goal to set the tone. Taking advantage of an easy 30-yard undefended shot on goal, Mariano Gonzalez managed to convert a single Penalty 2, Goose Creek’s only goal of the first half. Goose Creek began to initiate their own strategic plays but were unable to finish, shut down at every opportunity by La Indiana’s advancing defenders. Numerous shots fell wide over the back line and balls were repeatedly deflected by horses during attempts by both teams to score. Closing the third with a Penalty 2 conversion by Ruiz, La Indiana held a comfortable lead 5-1.
Scoreless for the third consecutive chukker, Goose Creek’s shots continued to elude the goal in the fourth, their efforts seemingly futile to turn the game around. Working as a cohesive unit and staying close to the man, La Indiana demonstrated a unity and defensive force that Goose Creek could not shake. Awarded an automatic Penalty 1 goal in the fifth, Goose Creek finally broke the silence, but was immediately answered back by another field goal from Ruiz. Down by five headed into the sixth 8-3, Goose Creek rallied around Mariano Gonzalez who secured his first field goal; Ruiz retaliated with his fifth and final goal. A battle from beginning to end, Goose Creek secured two final goals, ending the game 9-6 and advancing La Indiana into the final.