The Maui Polo Qualifier is a fantastic annual event for youth polo in the Hawaiian Islands. Youth players from all clubs are invited to participate, with games for the youngest players on the days leading up to the NYTS. Players, regardless of teams, watch all the games and cheer for their friends and family. It is truly a fantastic experience for all involved.
This year, over 24 youth players came together for the weekend, with 12 playing a round robin as the NYTS qualifier. The teams faced off on Sunday, May 29 for a fun day of polo.
The first game of the round robin kicked off with the Hurricanes facing off against Safari Bloodstock. Out of the first bowl-in, Sunny Diller did not waste any time and put a quick goal on the scoreboard for the Hurricanes. Not to be outdone, the sibling teamwork of Keala and Maika Panzarini put two goals through the uprights to end the first chukker 2-1, with Safari Bloodstock in the lead. After a quick chukker break, both teams were back and playing with a vengeance, but due to excellent teamwork from both sides neither team could score and the first match-up of the day was over with Safari Bloodstock taking the win 2-1 over the Hurricanes.
The second match-up left the Hurricanes up, while Elite Physical Therapy took to the field. The Hurricanes were eager to win this game, but Elite Physical Therapy played strong and scored two strong goals in the first chukker, followed by two more in the second. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, the Elite Physical Therapy was just as strong defensively as offensively, and they were unable to make any goal scoring opportunities a reality. Elite Physical Therapy ended the match with a 4-0 score.
In the final leg of the round robin, Safari Bloodstock returned to play Elite Physical Therapy, in a game that would determine the winner of the 2016 Maui NYTS Qualifier. Both teams were ready to play for the win and were tied 1-1, but quick thinking by Elite Physical Therapy took the lead to win the qualifier.
Winners: Elite Physical Therapy- WHITE
Runners Up: Safari Bloodstock- GREEN