Confident in their teammates, Luna Polo (Jennifer Alexy, Alexis Payan, Bautista Von Wernich, Diego Larregli) took the field against Zahedi Chogan (Sy Zahedi, Meghan Gracida, Russell Stimmel*, Francisco Guinazu) in the 4-goal Pacific Coast Circuit Congressional Cup Final on Sunday, March 15, at Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. Silencing Zahedi Chogan throughout the first three chukkers, Luna Polo showcased offensive prowess to capture the trophy 4-1.
“The key to our win was teamwork and everyone working for one another and being disciplined in what we needed to do,” Payan said. “Also, we corrected our mistakes, even the little ones. Everyone had a specific job to do and making sure each of us executed that job was crucial.”
Launching the first ball between the posts, Larregli was followed up by teammate Alexy to secure a fast 2-0 lead and the only goals of the first half. Evenly matched, neither team could break past defenders in the second, allowing Luna Polo to retain their initial lead at halftime 2-0.
Opening up the second half with her second goal of the day, Alexy extended Luna Polo’s lead as Zahedi Chogan experienced another scoreless chukker. Determined to put a goal on the board with only one more chukker remaining, Stimmel finally broke the silence with the first goal for Zahedi Chogan in the fourth chukker off a Penalty 3 conversion. Sealing the win with a final goal, Alexy led Luna Polo to a 4-1 victory.
“It was a tight match as Zahedi Chogan has been playing for a long time and they have a great organization,” Von Wernich said. “Jennifer [Alexy] played outstanding and all the balls we passed to her finished in or near the goal. Diego [Larregli] and Alexis [Payan] also played a high level of polo.”
“We put this team together because we really felt we could compete as a four-man team and all make a significant contribution,” Alexy added. “Diego Larregli our captain has done a great job of bringing this team together and working with Bautista [Von Wernich] and Alexis [Payan], two really talented young players who have been playing great. We also could not have been successful if it were not for our horses who have also been playing well as the season comes to an end.”
*Russell Stimmel is a Team USPA alumni. The mission of Team USPA is to improve the sport of polo in the United States by developing the talent/skills of young American players through mentored training and playing opportunities, ultimately leading to a pool of higher rated American players.