As July comes to a close, the Farmers & Merchants Bank Silver Cup Final is within sight. This past weekend, teams battled through another two rounds of bracket play in hopes of bolstering their records to advance to the upcoming semifinals.
On Sunday, July 24, two action-packed matches both ended within a goal and were decided in the final chukkers. In the morning, BenSoleimani.com (Ben Soleimani, Lucas “Luckitas” Criado Jr, Ignacio “Iñaki” Laprida, Jeff Hall) and L.E.N.Y. (Santino Magrini*, Paquito de Narvaez, Kristos “Keko” Magrini*, Matias Magrini) were pitted against each other. The game played out evenly in a tie for the entire first half until L.E.N.Y. took the lead in the fourth and fifth chukkers. However, Bensoleimani.com, aptly deemed “the comeback team,” scored three unanswered goals late in the game to win the match, 11-10.
BenSoleimani.com’s Iñaki Laprida reaches for the hook on L.E.N.Y.’s Kristos “Keko” Magrini.
In the featured afternoon game, Antelope (Grant Palmer, Joaquin Avendaño, Matias Torres Zavaleta, Felipe Vercellino)met Farmers & Merchants Bank (Danny Walker, Lucas Criado, Facundo Obregon, Peke Gonzalez). The teamsexchanged goals, fighting hard for all six chukkers. As time dwindled, the final chukker became the deciding factor, with the teams tied moving into the last seven-and-a-half minutes. Rising to the occasion, Gonzalez powered through the opposition to score three goals in the last chukker, allowing Farmers & Merchants Bank to sneak by and steal the win in the last minute, 11-10.
Farmers & Merchants Bank’s Peke Gonzalez scores the winning goal against Antelope.
After three rounds of play, L.E.N.Y. and BenSoleimani.com currently hold the best records, both sitting at 2-1, giving them an advantage for this coming weekend with two more rounds of bracket play. Farmers & Merchants Bank and Antelope remain steady in the tournament, garnering 1-1 records. Klentner Ranch will have to work to get back into contention behind at 0-2, but could still pull through with consistent play in the next two rounds.
Lucas “Luckitas” Criado Jr. and BenSoleimani are currently tied with L.E.N.Y. for the best record at 2-1 after three rounds of play.
Play will resume this Friday, July 29, first with Farmers & Merchants Bank meeting Klentner Ranch (Justin Klentner, Jake Klentner*, Jesse Bray*, Santiago Toccalino) at 4:00pm ET, then later with L.E.N.Y. and Antelope clashing at 7:00pm ET. All games of the Farmers & Merchants Bank Silver Cup are available to watch via livestream or on-demand exclusively on Global Polo TV.
*Kristos “Keko” Magrini is an Active Team USPA Member. Jake Klentner, Jesse Bray, Santino Magrini and Peke Gonzalez are 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 of ©David Lominska.