A deep field of fifteen teams turned out for the second leg of the Pacific Coast Arena League (PCAL) from Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21, hosted by Orange County Polo Club (OC Polo) in Silverado, California.
PCAL plays four different flights which offers varying levels of arena polo for all players from the beginner in C-Flight, to the seasoned competitor in the new addition of the High-Goal flight. Players and teams have been utilizing the High-Goal flight to participate in higher-rated competition in preparation for the U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship in December, hosted by California Polo Club (Los Angeles, California). OC Polo’s PCAL High-Goal event played at the 12-goal level pitted Can This! (Spencer Hurtt, Jared Sheldon*, Jennifer Alexy) against Lakeside (Garrett Bankhead, Ian Schnoebelen, Ethan Bankhead) with Can This! taking the win in a fast and furious, but friendly match.
Can This! Jennifer Alexy works the boards alongside and Lakeside’s Ian Schnoebelen.
In the four team Pacific Coast Circuit General George S. Patton Jr. A-Flight, the finals came down to Fawkes Polo (Marc Schnoebelen, Andy Schnoebelen, Ian Schnoebelen) versus Christian Brothers (Kylie Matthews, Ethan Bankhead, Elise Pardue), as Fawkes Polo’s Ian Schnoebelen’s accurate penalty shots put his team out in front for the 15-10 win.
The seven team Pacific Coast Circuit General George S. Patton Jr. B-Flight culminated in Lakeside Polo (Nicole Bankhead, Spencer Hurtt, Robert Hasman) facing off against Three of a Kind (Jonas Pettersson, Maggie Papka, Hattie Ward) for the title. Featuring Lakeside’s second trip to a PCAL final and Three of a Kind’s first final appearance—Three of a Kind ultimately held off a determined Lakeside to claim the victory 11-7.
Fawkes Polo’s Ian Schnoebelen prepares for a deep neckshot.
Recounting the first two legs of competition, Spencer Hurtt detailed, “PCAL been awesome this year. So many players have really stepped up and brought their heat to the hustle. Both the A-Flight and B-Flight teams have upped their game [with] lots of very competitive games and fun rivalries.”
C-Flight had OC Polo (Josie Geiler Allen, Marlene Thomason, Jess Wileman) and Stir Up Trouble (Alex Chisholm, Yiyi de War, Nash Zahabian, Katie Vincent, Dana Garcia) playing each other both Saturday and Sunday.
El Polo Loco’s Spencer Hurtt carries the ball down the arena, as OC Interscholastic’s Leigh Bertea closes in to defend.
Additional teams competing at OC Polo Club’s PCAL event included:
Sermus (Fawn Rinalduzzi, Serdar Celik, Dave Myrick)
California Polo Club (Chuck Stanislawski, Ajay Clark, Jessica Newman)
Tres Amigas (Ava Abboud, Helena Csiki, Shira Engle)
Goal Diggers (Kim Foy, Keith Edwards, Ashley Simpson)
OC Interscholastic (Penny Steffens, Sage Slack, Leigh Bertea, Davesh Nath)
Lakeside A-Flight (Garrett Bankhead, Erica Chapman, Chuck Stanislawski)
El Polo Loco (Kelsey Galarza, Luca Abboud, Spencer Hurtt)
Lakeside’s Garrett Bankhead clears the ball around the corner with Can This! Jared Sheldon close behind.
While playing USPA tournaments, PCAL uses a points and awards system that leads to end-of-league party and prizes. Individual players get points for their team’s finish after each game with points for win, loss or tie. In addition to points, each game awards the Casablanca Most Valuable Player title, Aubone Mallets Sportsmanship Award and Royal B Threads Best Playing Pony honors.
The final weekend of PCAL competition will be hosted by Poway Polo Club (Poway, California) from October 6-8. The PCAL end-of-league awards will be held at OC Polo Club on October 18, in conjunction with the USPA Women’s Arena Open slated to begin on October 20.
OC Polo’s Josie Geiler Allen and Stir Up Trouble’s Yiyi de War race down the arena.
WEEK TWO AWARD RECIPIENTS
Aubone Mallets Sportsmanship Award recipient Nash Zahabian.
Aubone Mallets Sportsmanship Award
Casablanca Most Valuable Player Andy Schnoebelen.
Casablanca Most Valuable Player
Luca Abboud (2X)
Josie Geiler Allen
Yiyi de War
Royal B Threads Best Playing Pony Perfection, played by Chuck Stanislawski and owned by George Dill.
Royal B Threads Best Playing Pony
Manhattan – Spencer Hurtt
Carly – Ian Schnoebelen
Noche – Ethan Bankhead
Perfection – Chuck Stanislawski, owned by George Dill
Hilo – Kim Foy
Lolita – Chuck Stanislawski
Tater Tot – Keith Edwards
Julia – Hattie Ward
Georgia – Fawn Rinalduzzi
Sassy – Shira Engel, owned by Gillian Young
Tiger Lily – Josie Geiler Allen
Iggy – Marlene Thomason
Big Red – Ian Schnoebelen
*Jared Sheldon is Team USPA alumnus. 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 ©Tequila Sunsets Photography.