There is a reason why players and teams in polo are handicapped, and the 22-7 victory of the 40-goal La Dolfina team (Adolfo Cambiaso, David Stirling, Pablo MacDonough and Juan Martin Nero) over a 30-goal Cria Yatay lineup (Guillermo Terrera, Magoo Laprida, Joaquin Pittaluga and Inaki Laprida) is a practical example of why.
The Argentine Open is played without the benefit of a handicap and Adolfo Cambiaso’s charges illustrated the difference Saturday afternoon as they pummeled an out-gunned Cria Yatay effort.
A goal from Cambiaso and two more from teammate Pablo MacDonough opened the game at the stadium in Palermo while the veteran defense held Cria Yatay scoreless. After the first seven minutes of the opening game of the 2016 Argentine Open, the defending champions led, 3-0.
Cria Yatay fought back in the second period, picking up goals from Magoo Laprida and Joaquin Pittaluga. Cambiaso scored La Dolfina’s only goal, and Cria Yatay continued to trail, 4-2.
La Dolfina went on a tear in the third period, employing the defense that impressed in the final of the Hurlingham Open. Shutting out the Cria Yatay offense for four consecutive chukkers, La Dolfina galloped out to a commanding 18-2 lead at the end of the sixth.
Magoo Laprida finally got Cria Yatay on the scoreboard in the seventh, but it hardly caused a ripple. Three more goals from Cambiaso had Cria Yatay trailing La Dolfina by eighteen goals at the end of the chukker, 21-3.
Cria Yatay added four goals in the final chukker with Magoo Laprida scoring his third of the day. Pittaluga added a goal and Guillermo Terrera scored twice. Cambiaso’s twelfth goal of the day gave La Dolfina the 22-7 win.
Cambiaso led all scoring with twelve goals (five on penalty shots). MacDonough scored eight times and Stirling added two goals for the win. Magoo Laprida was high scorer for Cria Yatay with three goals. Terrera and Pittaluga each scored twice in a losing effort.
Alegria 18, Washington 13
In the Argentine Open match of the day Alegría (Guillermo Caset, Hilario Ulloa, Lucas Monteverde and Fred Mannix) attempted to re-establish themselves as a viable challenger for the trophy by dominating a talented Washington team (Diego Cavanagh, Ezequiel Ferrario, Facundo Sola and Alfredo Cappella) for an 18-13 win.
First chukker goals from Sapo Caset, Fred Mannix and Hilario Ulloa were met by a single goal from Ezequiel Ferrario, with Alegria taking the early lead, 3-1.
Washington fared no better in the second. Two goals from Mannix and single goals from Caset and Ulloa had Alegria on top, 7-2. Facundo Sola scored Washington’s only goal of the chukker.
Ulloa scored three times in the third and Caset notched his third goal of the game. Alfredo Cappella got Washington on the scoreboard but after three periods of play they trailed by eight goals, 11-3.
A fourth chukker Washington rally picked up goals from Capella, Ferrario and Sola. Ulloa scored Alegria’s only goal as Washington cut the lead back to six goals, 12-6 at the end of the half.
Both defenses tightened as the second half got underway, but goals were hard to come by. Ulloa scored the only goal of the chukker, extending the Alegria lead to seven goals, 13-6.
The two teams traded goals in the sixth period with Lucas Monteverde scoring his first goal of the game and teammate Caset adding another for Alegria. Washington responded with a pair of goals from Sola as Alegria maintained their seven-goal advantage, 15-8.
Sola poured it on in the seventh period scoring three times. Ulloa scored twice for Alegria to keep them in front of a 17-11score.
Ulloa scored for the tenth time on the day with Sola responding with two of his own. The final horn sounded with Alegria celebrating the 18-13 victory.
Ulloa scored four of his game-high ten goals on penalty conversions. Caset added tour goals; Mannix scored three times and Monteverde was credited with a goal for the win. Sola led the Washington attack with nine goals (six on penalty shots). Ferrario and Cappella each scored twice in the loss.
Argentine Open play continues at Palermo on Sunday, November 13th with Ellerstina (Facundo Pieres, Gonzalo Pieres, Polito Pieres and Nico Pieres) meeting La Irenita (Juan Ruiz Guiñazu, Juan M. Zavaleta, Matías MacDonough and Clemente Zavaleta) in a 2pm contest followed by a match between La Aguada-Las Monjitas (Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Eduardo. Novillo Astrada, Miguel Novillo Astrada and Ignacio Novillo Astrada) and El Paraiso (Agustin Merlos, Ignacio Toccalino, Ignacio Heguy and Santiago Toccalino) at 4:30pm.
The final of the 2016 Argentine Open is scheduled to be played on Saturday, December 10th.