WELLINGTON, Florida – March 21, 2016 – Orchard Hill defeated Flexjet 12-9 and Coca-Cola took an 11-8 victory over Lucchese in the quarterfinals of the USPA Gold Cup® at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC). Orchard Hill and Coca-Cola will advance to the semifinals on Wednesday, March 23. Gillian Johnston was Most Valuable Player, and Best Playing Pony was awarded to “One”, played by Miguel Astrada.
Orchard Hill Defeats Flexjet With Two Pieres Substitutes
Orchard Hill showed what they were made of in Sunday’s game, achieving a 12-9 victory over Flexjet after losing both their 10-goalers to injuries. Hilario Ulloa substituted for Facundo Pieres early in the game. Polito Pieres played through part of the third chukker but suffered a serious shoulder injury, and 8-goaler Lucas Criado suited up in his place.
“There is never an easy game in this tournament, but this time it was totally disruptive because first Facundo got hurt and then Polito,” said patron Steve Van Andel. “In the second half we could not get any of the offense going at all. Polito was having a great day, and when he left, it just took the wind out of our team. We picked it up as we went along, but both of those final chukkers were tough. I have no idea what is going to happen going forward. We will have to regroup and figure it out. I am grateful to get this one over and am just glad we came out on top.”
Orchard Hill remained determined, closing the second chukker with a 6-1 lead. Four of those goals were delivered by Ulloa. Polito Pieres had just scored his third goal, pushing Orchard Hill ahead by six, when Criado had to step in. Ulloa slammed in two more goals, but it was obvious the new lineup was struggling. Flexjet began to catch up, tightening the gap to four in the sixth chukker. However, Criado came through, scoring the final goal for Orchard Hill.