The opening day of the much anticipated 2019 Cartier Queen’s Cup featured a narrow 9-8 victory for Park Place over Monterosso, while UAE displayed a dominant performance in a 14-7 win over Casa La Vista Ibiza on the Castle and Duke’s Grounds at Guards Polo Club. 

The first game of the day saw Park Place overcome a slow start by controlling the start of the second half to build a large lead and hold off a late Monterosso push in the final chukka. Winning the throw-in battle 15-7 proved to be crucial in Park Place’s victory, utilizing the extra possessions to keep the ball in the Monterosso half of the field during the third, fourth and fifth chukkas. Monterosso had their opportunities to claim victory but finished just 2 for 6 from the penalty line, with the missed penalty attempts ultimately the difference in the one-goal game. 

Forcing Monterosso turnovers early in the game, Hilario Ulloa converted from 50 yards out to open the scoring, but Monterosso responded with consecutive goals from Juan Gris Zavaleta and Ignacio Toccalino to take a one-goal lead. Looking to extend their lead, Monterosso received three penalty attempts in the second chukka, but were unable to convert, missing a Penalty 3 and two Safety attempts allowing Park Place to restore the tie. Ulloa made his impact felt during open play, winning throw-ins and adding his second field goal of the game, while Juan Britos and Benjamin Urquiza combined for a perfect 3 for 3 from the penalty line, pushing Park Place into the 5-4 lead at half time. The fourth chukka proved to be a decisive chukka in the game, with Park Place outshooting Monterosso 4-1, extending their lead to three on two Britos field goals, despite missing their first penalty attempt of the game. The relentless pressure of Park Place from the throw-in line kept Monterosso on the defensive, with the duo of Britos and Ulloa working effectively to generate offense. Trailing by four entering the final chukka, Monterosso made a late push, scoring three unanswered goals with one each from Alessandro Bazzoni, Toccalino and Zavaleta to bring the deficit to just one. The final Monterosso goal came with just over a minute and a half left as Park Place was able to survive the comeback attempt and hold on for the 9-8 victory.

The second game between UAE and Casa La Vista Ibiza produced a strong defensive showing from UAE that used their transition game to produce quick offense behind the elite duo of Sapo Caset and Santiago Toccalino, who combined for 12 goals and six assists. After falling behind early, UAE dominated the possession, scoring with accuracy while also winning 17 of the 23 throw-ins in the game to continue their relentless attack to finish with 14 goals in the seven-goal victory. 

Casa La Vista Ibiza raced out of the gate, scoring the first three goals of the game, with two coming off the mallet of 10-goaler Pablo MacDonough, while UAE was a step behind, committing two fouls and failing to find the goal, with the score at 3-1 due to UAE receiving one goal on handicap. With both teams fighting foul trouble in the second chukka, the pace of play changed at the end of the half, with UAE taking control of the game with a fast-paced attack, outscoring Casa La Vista Ibiza 4-1 to take the lead. Caset converted both Penalty 2 attempts, while assisting on Toccalino’s third goal of the half to hold a two-goal advantage. After scoring two field goals in the opening chukka, Casa La Vista Ibiza was held to just two field goals for the remainder of the game, including zero throughout the second half as UAE increased their lead with dominating the time on the ball. Held off the scoresheet in the fourth and fifth chukkas, Casa La Vista Ibiza conceded a run of nine unanswered goals from UAE with Caset and Toccalino accounting for all their team’s goals during that span. Holding a large eight-goal lead, UAE cruised in the final chukka to the 14-7 victory to conclude the first day of play in the Cartier Queen’s Cup.  

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