Las Monjitas and Ellerstina Advance to Tortugas Open Semi-Finals
The second day of the 2018 Tortugas Open saw the final two semi-finalists determined with Las Monjitas defeating La Albertina Abu Dhabi 18-4 and Ellerstina defeating Cria Yatay 18-7 at the Tortugas Country Club.
The opening game saw Las Monjitas display a dominant performance with Facundo Sola and Sapo Caset showing excellent form, scoring seven and eight goals respectively. The first chukka saw an evenly matched battle with both teams scoring two goals apiece and La Albertina looking to match the higher rated La Monjitas despite giving up five goals on handicap. However, Las Monjitas found their stride after a slow start and were far more clinical, stringing together accurate passes and strong individual carries to create plenty of goal scoring opportunities. Las Monjitas managed to convert three of their eight shot attempts over the opening three chukkas while Sapo Caset added three penalty goals to extend Las Monjitas’ lead to four. La Albertina struggled to generate any offense after the opening chukka, creating two more shot attempts and scoring just one more goal by half time as they trailed 8-3.
The second half saw Las Monjitas step up a gear and completely overwhelm La Albertina Abu Dhabi. Las Monjitas assaulted La Albertina’s goal line, outscoring their opponents 10-1 over the final three chukkas. La Albertina was unable to slow the Las Monjitas attack that broke away for numerous uncontested runs to goal. The inability of La Albertina to produce offense throughout the game was also due to their indiscipline with 12 fouls leading to the penalty attempts and extra possessions needed to push Las Monjitas ahead in the game. Finishing with the 14-goal victory, Las Monjitas booked their spot in the semi-finals as they look to challenge the elite 40-goal teams of La Dolfina and Ellerstina.
The last quarter-final saw Ellerstina make their debut in the Triple Crown with an effective performance that saw them shoot 14 for 20 from the field. Led by the 10-goal performance from Gonzalito Pieres, Ellerstina produced a passing attack that left Cria Yatay on the defensive throughout the game. Although they were accurate with the chances they did have, Cria Yatay struggled to get past the back line of Ellerstina with Facundo and Nico Pieres hitting strong backhands throughout the game. After an inadvertent mallet hit Facundo Pieres’ hand in the second chukka, a ten-minute timeout allowed Ellerstina to regroup as they quickly turned their 4-3 lead into an 8-3 lead by the end of the chukka.
Content to trade goals in the fourth and fifth chukkas, Ellerstina maintained their seven-goal lead behind an organized strategy that saw Gonzalito and Polito Pieres pressure downfield. Cria Yatay substitute Tomas Garcia del Rio filled in admirably alongside Ignacio Laprida but were challenged to contain the elite offense of Ellerstina. Holding a large lead, Ellerstina increased their defensive efforts, holding Cria Yatay off the scoresheet over the final two chukkas, as final goals from Gonzalito Pieres to bring his goal total to 10 sealed the convincing 18-7 victory.
Play resumes in the Tortugas Open with semi-finals as La Dolfina faces La Dolfina Polo Ranch and Ellerstina squares off against Las Monjitas.