Kentucky clinched a spot in the 20-goal Columbine Cup final after defeating Colorado 9-6 at Denver Polo Club in Sedalia, Colorado. They will face Valiente in Sunday’s final.
As the Kentucky squadron returned to the team tent after the game, a war cry of “Go, Cats!” (the Kentucky version of “Vamos!”) arose in unison—a reference to the University of Kentucky Wildcats athletic teams.
The score was 2-2 in the middle of the first chukker, and a tie was as good as it got for Colorado. From then on, a relentless Kentucky team led all the way to the final bell. Three successive goals in the fourth chukker gave them a six-goal lead (9-3). Both teams were scoreless in the fifth. In an eleventh-hour push, Colorado rallied. Roberto Zedda made the last two goals of the game on straight-arrow runs into goal, tightening the spread to a respectable three-goal difference at the end.
“I feel like we had all our ducks in a row today, and I felt very organized,” said 1-goaler Andrew Beck, who played #1 for Kentucky. For Beck the tournament was a major milestone: the first time he played high-goal. While he has played with Juan Monteverde in the past, this is the first time he has teamed with Matias Torres Zavaleta and Guille Terrera.
“These guys made all the magic happen! They’re a lot of fun to play with, and they made it a really smooth transition for me from the low-goal. They made me feel comfortable and gave me a job,” said Beck. “I’ve learned so much from them, especially always having my head on a swivel and positioning. Terrera told me to be adaptive, to really read the play and do all I can to get ready for the play that’s coming up next.”
The Columbine Cup concludes Sunday, August 6, with the final. The Columbine Cup is a prelude to the inaugural 20-goal Colorado Open (August 9-19). The Colorado Open final will feature the 2017 Rocky Mountain Polo Festival hosted by Polo Fest and Polo Channel.