At the risk of hyperbole, Sunday’s 20-goalYlvisaker polo game between Enigma (Jerome Wirth, Jeff Hall, Matias MacDonough and Carlucho Arellano) and Palm Beach Illustrated (Tommy Collingwood, Jared Zenni, Facundo Obregon and Michel Dorignac) at the International Polo Club was one of the most exciting games of the season.
Lead changes, momentum shifts, missed penalty shots, lost opportunities to win the game in regulation time, horse races, bumps and ride-offs galore were all mixed into Sunday’s game that saw Enigma’s Matias MacDonough take the ball down the field in the final seconds of the sudden-death overtime period to score the winning goal in a 14-13 game.
Facundo Obregon scored the first goal of the game less than two minutes into play for the early 1-0 Palm Beach Illustrated lead. Jeff Hall countered with a goal from the field to tie it up at 1-1 in a low-scoring opening chukker.
Hall and Macdonough teamed up for consecutive goals in the second with Hall being on the scoring end of a pair of passes from the Argentine 7-goaler for a 3-1 lead. A 30-yard penalty conversion by Obregon cut into the Enigma lead to make it 3-2. Palm Beach Illustrated team captain Jared Zenni tied the game at 3-3 with the final goal of the period.
The Enigma offense opened up in the third with the team being the recipient of a goal on a Penalty 1 against Palm Beach Illustrated. Hall added two goals and Enigma team captain Jerome Wirth added a goal for a four goal, 7-3 advantage. Obregon scored the final goal of the first half on a 60-yard penalty shot that left Enigma in the lead, 7-4.
The pace slowed down a bit in the fourth chukker with the two teams trading goals. Hall opened the chukker with a well-executed neck-shot from over 80-yards for a goal, 8-4. Michel Dorignac answered back with a goal to cut the lead back to three goals, 8-5. Obregon scored with 1:51 left in the chukker to bring Palm Beach Illustrated to within two goals of the lead, 8-6. A Palm Beach Illustrated foul sent Arellano to the penalty line where he converted a 40-yard penalty shot with 35 seconds left in the chukker. The three goal Enigma lead was back in place, 9-6.
A reinvigorated Palm Beach Illustrated team took control of the game as they returned to the field in the fifth. Dorignac started the period going with a goal from the field less than two minutes into the chukker, 9-7, followed by a 60-yard penalty goal just 40 seconds later, 9-8. Zenni tied it at 9-9, midway through the period on a goal from the field. Consecutive penalty goals from Obregon were capped by Dorignac’s second goal of the period. . Palm Beach Illustrated rode into the chukker with a three goal deficit and ended it with a three goal lead, 12-9.
Obregon made it 13-9 with his eighth goal of the match, but that was when Enigma came alive. Three penalty goals from Arellano and a goal from the field from MacDonough leveled the score at13-13, forcing sudden-death overtime.
After a brief intermission that allowed the players to bring in fresh mounts, play resumed in an overtime chukker. Both teams had opportunities to win the game with shots going wide and a penalty shot missed when Obregon began a run toward the Enigma goal. A jarring bump by. With time running out and Obregon in hot pursuit, MacDonough raced over 100 yards down the field to score the winning goal for Enigma with just 42 seconds on the clock.
“It was a crazy game,” said Hall. “One minute we were up by three goals and the next minute we were behind by three goals.”
Hall led the Enigma attack with five goals on the day, earning himself MVP honors for his efforts. Arellano scored all four of his goals on penalty shots. MacDonough added three goals, including the game winner, and Wirth scored once for the win. The team also received one goal o n a penalty 1. Obregon led all scoring with eight goals (five on penalty shots). Dorignac was credited with three goals and Zenni added two goals in the loss.
Audi 12, FlexJet 8
Earlier in the day Audi (Marc Ganzi, Lucas Lalor, Nic Roldan and Fred Mannix) built up a 6-3 halftime lead that helped carry them past Flex Jet (Melissa Ganzi, Cody Ellis, Miguel Novillo Astrada and Gonzalito Pieres) 12-8 in Ylvisaker Cup play.
American 8-goaler Nic Roldan scored all six of the Audi first half goals (four on penalty conversions) as they took a 6-3 lead after the first three chukkers. FlexJet responded with three penalty goals, two from Miguel Novillo Astrada and one from Gonzalito Pieres.
FlexJet matched Audi goal for goal in the fourth chukker. Astrada converted a 60-yard penalty shot for a goal and scored a goal from the field. Audi got a goal from team captain Marc Ganzi and a penalty goal from Roldan. Audi continued to lead by three goals, 8-5.
Audi took control of the fifth period as Marc Ganzi and Roldan scored two goals apiece while holding FlexJet scoreless. FlexJet found themselves trailing by seven goals, 12-5, going in to the final chukker.
FlexJet turned it on in the final seven minutes of play. Pieres scored once from the field and converted a penalty shot for a goal while Melissa Ganzi added a goal from the field. Audi was held scoreless for the first time all day, but cruised to a 12-8 win.
Roldan led all scoring with nine goals on the day (five on penalty conversions). Marc Ganzi scored three goals from the field for the victory. Astrada scored three of his four goals on penalty conversions. Pieres was responsible for three goals (one on a penalty shot) and Melissa Ganzi scored a goal in the loss.
Orchard Hill 12, CT Energia 8
Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Lucas Criado, Facundo Pieres and Remy Muller) recorded their second Ylvisaker Cup win in as many outings Sunday morning by beating CT Energia (Alessandro Bazzoni, Kris Kampsen, Joao Ganon and Nick Manifold) 12-8.
In one of the rarest instances, back-to-back Penalty 1s resulted in each team being awarded goals, 1-1. Lucas Criado ended the chukker with a goal for the 2-1 Orchard Hill lead.
Joao Ganon opened the second chukker with a 60-yard penalty shot that tied it at 2-2. Remy Muller stole the ball from a CT Energia player and raced down the field for a go-ahead goal for Orchard Hill, 3-2. Ensuing goals from Facundo Pieres and Criado stretched the Orchard Hill lead to three goals, 5-2. Alessandro Bazzoni added a goal to the CT Energia total, cutting the Orchard hill lead back to two goals 5-3. Pieres converted a penalty shot for the final goal of the chukker that had CT Energia trailing by three goals, 6-3.
The CT Energia defense toughened in the third as the two teams exchanged goals. Criado scored the first goal of the chukker to put Orchard Hill on top, 7-3. Bazzoni countered with his second goal of the game, 7-4, giving Orchard Hill a three goal lead at the end of the first half.
Guarded play characterized the fourth chukker as goals were hard to come by. Criado scored from the field, 8-4. CT Energia’s Nick Manifold responded in kind as the chukker ended with Orchard Hill maintaining a three goal lead, 8-5.
Pieres added two more goals from the field in the fifth while Kris Kampsen converted a 30-yard penalty shot for a goal for CT Energia. Orchard Hill had extended their lead to four goals, 10-6.
Kampsen and Ganon added single goals in the sixth for CT Energia with Pieres and Criado each scoring a goal for the 12-7 Orchard Hill win. The win boosted the Orchard Hill record to 2-0 while CT Energia remained winless, at 0-3.
Ylvisaker Cup action continues on Monday afternoon when Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Guille Aguero, Mark Tomlinson and Juan Bollini) face Gateway Merchant (Marianito Obregon, Mariano Gracida, Matias Magrini and Scott Swerdlin) to finish the final two chukkers of their unfinished January 31st contest in which Casablanca led, 9-8.