The final of the Pacific Coast Circuit Sportsmanship Cup on January 27 at Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, saw Evergreen capture the title with an 11-7 victory over Grande Prairie.
In the feature Sunday match on Field 1, spectators were treated to an exciting opening half with the two teams trading goals in a back-and-forth affair. Grande Prairie displayed a balanced team effort in the first chukker with one goal each from Piers Bossom, Tim Rudy and Felipe Sordelli to grab a 3-1 lead. Grande Prairie maintained their two-goal advantage throughout the remainder of the first half due to strong open play attacks that included all six first half goals from the field, including three goals from Sordelli to hold a 6-4 lead at halftime.
The momentum of Grande Prairie changed in the second half as fouls piled up, providing Evergreen with the opportunities they needed to fight their way back into the game. After four goals in the first half, Evergreen’s Carlitos Galindo* had an exceptional day from the penalty line, converting five of his six penalty attempts over the final chukkers, finishing with an impressive game-high nine goals to pull his team into the lead. The loss of possession for Grande Prairie affected their offense throughout the second half as they were limited to just one goal on a penalty 2 conversion from Rudy. With Grande Prairie still holding on to a slim 7-6 lead heading into the final chukker, an impressive five goals from Evergreen in the fifth chukker, four of which came from the penalty line, sealed the 11-7 victory to capture the Pacific Coast Circuit Sportsmanship Cup.
Most Valuable Player was awarded to Grande Prairie’s Tim Rudy and Best Playing Pony was presented to Tim Rudy’s Chrome.
*Carlitos Galindo is a Team USPA alumni. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher-rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.
All photos courtesy ©Jim Bremner.
Pacific Coast Circuit Sportsmanship Cup Champions: Evergreen – Tom Sprung, Quinn Evans, Carlitos Galindo, Taylor Freeman.