Wellington, FL – February 24, 2021 – The last day of bracket play in Brackets I and II in the 2021 C.V. Whitney Cup® saw Scone remain atop Bracket I, defeating Cessna 14-7, while Tonkawa grabbed a crucial 14-12 victory over Pilot thanks to the impressive 11-goal performance from Sapo Caset on the Isla Carroll East field at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
Returning to competition after the victory in Sunday’s feature 3 p.m. game, Scone used a dominant second half, outscoring Cessna 9-3 to capture their second decisive victory. It was Peke Gonzalez that stepped into the spotlight for Scone, leading all players with eight goals on accurate 75% shooting. The dynamic Scone attack overwhelmed Cessna in the later stages of the game behind an accurate passing attack from Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso, with the duo combining for seven assists on 10 field goals. Cessna remained close in the opening half but conceded four penalties to Scone in the final two chukkers in the 14-7 defeat.
The first play of the game saw the father-son connection give Scone the 1-0 lead as Poroto found Adolfo on the end of a pass. Conceding only a Penalty 3 conversion to Jared Zenni, the first chukker went in favor of Scone with Adolfo coming forward to produce three goals on three shots. Withstanding the early run from Scone, Cessna responded with their best chukker of the game, scoring three unanswered goals, two of which were from Mariano Obregon to quickly turn a two-goal deficit into a one-goal lead. Scone’s early struggles from the penalty line led to them trailing towards the end of the first half, failing to convert either of two attempts, but their fortunes turned around by utilizing Gonzalez at the front of the game. Both Poroto and Adolfo set up goals for Gonzalez to hold the narrow 5-4 advantage.
The beginning of the second half featured Cessna fighting hard to match Scone, receiving a goal from Chip Campbell to keep pace, but the game ultimately changed in the fifth chukker. Leading by two, Scone’s Gonzalez had a memorable seven-minute stretch, scoring all four goals for Scone on perfect 2 for 2 shooting from the field and penalty line. Unable to slow the potent Scone attack, Cessna was left in their defensive end and pressured in front of goal, resulting in two Penalty 1’s awarded to Scone, who completed the 14-7 victory and improved to 2-0 in the C.V. Whitney Cup®.
Adolfo Cambiaso and David Paradice celebrate the team‘s victory. ©Alex Pacheco
A high-powered second match saw three 10-goalers on the field with Caset emerging as an unstoppable force for Tonkawa, finishing with 11 goals on 10 for 14 shooting from the field in the victory over Pilot. Substituting for Cody Ellis, Lucas Escobar faced his former team and excelled in pressuring brothers Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres off the ball to free space for Caset and Elizalde to attack goal, which contributed to an 8-1 run over the third and fourth chukkers. Despite conceding five penalty goals to Pilot, Tonkawa’s efficient open play attack led them to the decisive victory and brought all three teams even with a 1-1 record in Bracket II.
Racing out of the gate, Pilot demonstrated their ability to score quickly, building a 4-1 lead inside the first seven minutes. Receiving two goals each from Facundo and Gonzalito, Pilot applied the pressure that resulted in four fouls committed by Tonkawa in the opening chukker. Focused on reducing the gap, Caset added two goals in the second chukker but Pilot continued to rely on the efficient two man-game of Facundo and Gonzalito that allowed them to maintain their three-goal advantage. Everything changed in the third chukker after Tonkawa unleashed an unrelenting attack, scoring six goals in a span of minutes led by the play of Caset. Accounting for five of the six goals, while assisting on the other, Caset displayed a flawless performance that switched the momentum in Tonkawa’s direction, giving them the 9-7 lead at halftime.
Lucas Escobar substituted for Cody Ellis. ©Alex Pacheco
Finding success with Escobar, Elizalde, and Hildebrand working tirelessly off the ball, Tonkawa controlled possession at the start of the second half to complete their 8-1 run after two more goals for Caset. Stunned, Pilot was held off the scoresheet from the field for the third consecutive chukker against an organized Tonkawa defense. After struggling to find the goal earlier in the game, Elizalde contributed with back-to-back goals, extending Tonkawa’s lead to five and leaving Pilot with little time for a comeback. A valiant effort from Facundo with three goals in the sixth chukker brought Pilot within two, but it was as close as they could come in the 14-12 defeat.
The last game of bracket play will see Aspen/Dutta Corp against La Indiana at 11 a.m. EST on Thursday, February 25.
Francisco Elizalde and Sapo Caset following Tonkawa‘s win over Pilot. ©Alex Pacheco
Polo matches at IPC are not open to the general public except for ticketed Sunday brunch. Online viewing is available with a subscription at globalpolo.com.