Lockton and STG played an aggressive and competitive game at Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, for the USPA Regional President’s Cup Final on Sunday, February 11. Decided in the final minutes of the sixth chukker, the game remained very close throughout, but STG ultimately came out on top 16-15 to earn the title.
Trading goals with STG’s Max Menini who made two penalty conversions, Lockton retained their slight one-goal advantage due to handicap in the first. STG secured three additional field goals in the second, an advance which was met with strong offensive plays that would set the tone for a battle in the second half; Lockton’s Alejandro Gonzalez picked up his first two goals of the game, ending the second 7-5 now in favor of Lockton. Heading into the half, Lockton’s Bryan Middleton put a single goal through the posts, but STG was determined not to fall behind. Scoring three consecutive goals, Francisco Guinazu dominated the field, putting STG up by one 9-8 when the halftime horn sounded.
Penalties continued in the remaining chukkers as both teams fought relentlessly for the lead. Finding themselves tied 10-all at the end of the fourth, Gonzalez opened the fifth chukker with a penalty conversion, but Menini answered back with two consecutive field goals. Middleton, reliable for scoring in every chukker, put yet another quick goal on the board, but the intense period ended with STG ahead 14-12. Still with plenty of time and energy to overtake their opponents, Gonzalez started off another series of Lockton goals with a penalty conversion followed by two between the posts from Middleton, Lockton’s high-scorer. Coming through for STG in the final chukker, both Tommy Costello and John Ziegler made their first goals of the game and consequently sealed the hard fought final 16-15.
All photos ©Jim Bremner/PoloZONE.com