By Alejandra Ocampo
Orchard Hill and Coca Cola are through the semifinals of the USPA Gold Cup following their quarter final wins at International Polo Club Palm Beach.
The first game of the day saw Orchard Hill defeat Flex Jet 12-9. Steve van Andel’s foursome had a strong start, gaining an impressive 8-1 by half time. Despite Flex Jet’s efforts to close the score gap, Orchard Hill’s advantage was too much for Melissa Ganzi and her boys. Orchard Hill gave a great performance and held Flex Jet back, earning a spot in Wednesday’s semifinals against Dubai.
However, Orchard Hill suffered a few injuries: Facundo Pieres injured his hand and was not able to play. He was replaced by Hilario Ulloa, who played a great game, scoring no less than seven goals. Polito Pieres had to leave the match after falling and breaking his collarbone; his place was taken by Lucas Criado.
Next up, Coca Cola took a fantastic 11-8 win against Lucchese, in a great match by Gillian Johnston and her boys.
Lucchese had a better start, and were leading 4-3 by the end of the second chukker. Coca Cola applied the pressure and tied the game 4-all in the third. Gillian Johnston scored to secure a 5-4 lead for her team at the end of the first half.
A hard fought fourth chukker followed but Coca Cola remained in the lead. The fifth chukker was a different story; Gillian Johnston was on fire, displaying her best polo, and Coca Cola managed to widen their advantage to 10-7 with only one chukker remaining. It was Gillian who scored the last goal for her team, with two minutes left in the last, despite Magoo Laprida scoring for Lucchese.
Coca Cola will meet Audi in Wednesday’s semifinal match.
Orchard Hill vs. Flex Jet
Coca-Cola vs. Lucchese