Day two 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.
Rosters and tournament schedule:
Complete game videos posted daily: http://polochannel.com/#videos