The 2018 U.S. International Intercollegiate Challenge Cup team comprised of Devan Groves (Oklahoma State University, Senior), Ben Lynch (University of Kentucky, Junior), Aaron Schneider (Skidmore College, Junior) and J.T. Shiverick (Southern Methodist University, Senior) brought home the winning honors in an edge-of-your-seat final.
The Sixth Annual International Intercollegiate Challenge Cup: USPA I/I vs. Schools & Universities Polo Association Britain (SUPA) opened with quick sticks by the British squad securing a 5-0 lead at the end of the first chukker. A cool, calm and collected U.S. team entered the second unfazed and slowly began chipping away at their first chukker deficit. Two penalty shot conversions at the start of the chukker put the first two U.S. goals on the board. The score 7-5 entering the half, the U.S. trailed by two goals.
The third chukker would see similar play as the U.S. worked furiously to play catch up, focusing primarily on defense. The teams traded goals and the chukker finished 9-7 in favor of Britain, leading into the final period. Determined and fired up, the American squad were quick on their feet right out of the first bowl-in. Goals ticked by and with only 1:32 left in regulation time the U.S. team tied the game 10-all. A mere 10 seconds later, they would take the lead for the first time in the match 11-10. A battle until the final moments, the British squad scored once more tying the game once again, but with less than 30 seconds the final goal was scored for the U.S. team to secure the victory!
The event was hosted by SUPA at the Rugby Polo Club at Onley Equestrian Center in Dunchurch, England. A special thank you to organizer and manager Nigel Mercer and SUPA Chairman Charles Betz for their generosity in hosting.