Day 1 - Double MVP Terrera turns the tide for scone in Colorado Open
Scone Polo, a new team in this year’s $120,000 Colorado Open Presented by J5 Equestrian, and Valiente won their round 1 games last weekend. Scone Polo defeated Colorado 8-6, and Valiente took Hawaii Polo Life 10-9. The tournament is being held at Valiente Polo Farm in Littleton, Colorado.
The opening game was a tense tango. The first chukker ended with Colorado and Scone tied at 1, and each of the next four chukkers ended with just a one-goal gap (Colorado ahead at the close of the second and third chukkers; Scone ahead at the close of the fourth and fifth).
After trailing narrowly throughout the first half, Scone made an adjustment and shifted Guille Terrera to the back to take all their set plays and manage the game. The change immediately paid off, with Scone outscoring Colorado by two in the fourth chukker to pull ahead.
In a low-fouling game, Scone capitalized on their chances in open play, producing better scoring opportunities in their transition from defense to offense. Forcing Colorado to shoot from distance more often, Scone held Colorado to zero field goals in the fourth and fifth chukkers to maintain a one-goal advantage. The critical repositioning of Terrera helped Scone contain Colorado’s passing attack late in the game, as the latter’s shot attempts went from nine in the first half to just five in the second.
Controlling possession and ultimately producing more opportunities in the game, shooting accuracy proved to be a problem for Colorado with Juan Martin Obregon, Pablo Spinacci and Ezequiel Ferrario combining to shoot 3-for-12. The activity of Obregon in the back defensively kept the score low, but a final chukker with two more missed shot attempts and a missed penalty attempt kept Colorado from tying the score late in the game.
Terrera was the architect of Scone’s win, and it was no surprise that he was named MVP in both weekend games. His game management was crucial to Scone’s victory. (He subbed into the following game to help lead Valiente to victory as well.) Terrera finished game 1 with five goals on accurate 4-for-6 shooting from the field. His ability to play two different roles displayed his versatility.
No surprise, Terrera was MVP in both weekend games. BPPs were Mermelada, played by Agustin Nero, and Dolfina Raspuncel, owned by J5 Equestrian and played by Roberto Zedda.
The winning team from every game in the Colorado Open receives $6,000. An MVP and BPP are chosen after each game, and each is awarded $1,000. In addition $40,000 will be donated to the event’s designated charitable organization, the Equine Partnership Program.
KEY STATS - Game 1
Colorado shoots 4/14 from the field, Scone 7/10
Colorado 2/4 from the penalty line, Scone 1/1
Terrera shoots 100% from the penalty line (1/1) and from the field (2/2)
Day 2 - Valiente hangs tight for 10-9 win in Denver
Day 2 of the Colorado Open Polo Championship, Presented by J5 Equestrian, saw Valiente defeat Hawaii Polo Life by a sliver (10-9) on Sunday.
With the teams never separated by more than one goal after any chukker, the closely matched game came down to the final minutes. Hawaii paced their offense from the penalty line, scoring one penalty goal in each of the first five chukkers, while Valiente relied more on their open play.
Struggling to convert their opportunities in the first half and making three of their seven shots, Valiente turned the game around after halftime in a strong fourth chukker. Converting all four shot attempts from the field, two each from Santi Torres and Guillermo Terrera (the latter playing his second consecutive game), Valiente scored four unanswered goals to increase their lead to three goals.
The second half became a game of runs. Roberto Zedda had a very strong game on both sides of the ball, anchoring the back of the game defensively while running forward with the ball for Valiente. Santi Torres produced four goals that helped Valiente hang on for the narrow one-goal victory. Tommy Collingwood led all scorers with five goals in the game.
Despite giving up four penalty 2s in the game, Valiente overcame Hawaii’s offense from the penalty line with a dominant fourth chukker and strong defensive effort that led to 31% shooting from the field for Hawaii.
Hawaii responded before the end of the chukker, scoring four unanswered goals, three of which came off the mallet of Tommy Collingwood as Hawaii restored their one-goal advantage in the fifth chukker.
Committing three fouls in the fifth, Hawaii Polo Life gave two penalty attempts to Valiente. Zedda converted both attempts to hand the lead back to Valiente in a back-and-forth affair. Hawaii continued to pressure Valiente throughout the remainder of the game as they pushed to tie the score in the sixth. Shooting at goal four times in the final chukker, Hawaii’s shots narrowly missed, with none closer than patron Chris Dawson’s attempt from distance barely rolling outside the post as time expired.
Valiente shoots 7/13 from the field, Hawaii Polo Life 4/13
Valiente shoots 3/5 from penalty line, Hawaii Polo Life 5/7
High number of fouls: 20 total (10 for each team)
Terrera was MVP in both weekend games. The BPPs were Mermelada, played by Agustin Nero, and Dolfina Raspuncel, owned by J5 Equestrian and played by Roberto Zedda.
The winning team from every game receives $6,000. An MVP and BPP are chosen after each game, and each is awarded $1,000. In addition $40,000 will be donated to the event’s designated charitable organization, the Equine Partnership Program.
Here’s what the players had to say about round 1: http://polochannel.com/#wGNfzmvkNWY
Round 2 starts this weekend: Scone Polo v. Valiente; Colorado v. Hawaii Polo Life.
Complete game videos posted daily: http://polochannel.com/#videos