C. V. Whitney Quarterfinals: Valiente loses, Valiente II loses
By Alex Webbe
It was a rough day for the Valiente entries in the 2016 C. V. Whitney Cup at the International Polo Club with Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, Santi Torres, Santi Chavanne and Adolfo Cambiaso) losing Friday’s 1pm game to Orchard Hill (Polito Pieres, Julian De Lussareta, Facundo Pieres and Steve Van Andel), 11-8 followed by a 4pm contest that saw White Birch (Hilario Ulloa, Ezequiel Ferrario, Mariano Aguerre and Peter Brant) defeat Valiente II (Rob Jornayvaz, Facundo Sola, Tomas Garcia del Rio and Diego Cavanagh), 13-11.
The earlier game took place on the Number 1 ground at Lechuza Caracas and featured the Number 1 rated player in the world, Valiente 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso. The competition was formidable, however as they were facing the defending championship Orchard Hill lineup that included 10-goaler Facundo Pieres (the Number 2 rated player in the world) and his cousin Polito Pieres, also rated at the maximum 10-goals.
In a relatively uneventful opening chukker the two teams prodded and probed one another’s defenses with Facundo Peres scoring the only goal of the period on a 40-yard penalty conversion for a goal with just 1:11 on the clock. It was Orchard Hill with the first lead of the game, 1-0.
Adolfo Cambiaso got Valiente back on track with a goal from the field at 6:12 of the second period that leveled the score at 1-1. Julian De Lussareta found himself on the scoring end of a 180-yard pass from Facundo Pieres that gave the lead back to Orchard Hill, 2-1. Facundo Pieres and Santiago Chavanne trade 30-yard penalty conversions to end the chukker with Orchard Hill on top, 3-2.
Orchard Hill took the upper hand in third period play. Facundo Pieres opened the chukker with a 60-yard penalty shot for a goal to extend the Orchard Hill lead to two goals, 4-2. A foul late in the period sent Facundo Pieres to the penalty line once again, this time he converted from 30-yards out and gave Orchard Hill a 5-2 lead at the end of the first half.
Orchard Hill continued to dominate as the second half got underway. Three minutes into the chukker Polito Pieres scored on a long run for a four goal lead, 6-2. Facundo Pieres added two more goals from the field as the Orchard Hill defense held Valiente scoreless. After four periods of play Orchard Hill rode off the field with a commanding 8-2 lead.
Cambiaso opened the fifth period with a 60-yard penalty conversion (Safety), and added another from the field that cut the Orchard Hill lead back to four goals, 8-4. Santi Torres scored his first goal of the day, 8-5, and Cambiaso scored on a 40-yard penalty shot that had Valiente within two goals of the lead, 8-6. De Lussareta threw water on the Valiente rally with consecutive goals from the field that had Orchard Hill riding a four goal lead, 10-6, with once chukker left to play.
Both defenses were on their guard as the sixth period got started. Valiente didn’t want to allow any more goals from Orchard Hill while Orchard Hill needed to shut down any last chukker rally by Valiente. Three and-one-half minutes ticked off the clock before Polito Pieres scored the first goal of the chukker, 11-9. Cambiaso countered with a goal from the field at the 2:39 mark and scored the final goal of the game with 1:05 left in the game.
The 11-8 win gave Orchard Hill their first win in an effort to successfully defend their 2015 C. V. Whitney Cup title.
Facundo Pieres scored six goals (four from the field) to lead the Orchard Hill attack. De Lussareta added three goals and Polito Pieres scored twice for the victory. Cambiaso’s six goals (two on penalty shots) set the pace for Valiente. Chavanne and Torres each added a goal in a losing effort.
White Birch 13, Valiente II 11
In the second C. V. Whitney Cup quarterfinal of the day Valiente II received one goal by handicap and added to it with an opening goal on a 40-yard penalty conversion by Diego Cavanagh to put Valiente II in the lead, 2-0. Hilario Ulloa scored on an 80-ayrd penalty shot (Penalty 4, spot) followed by a goal from the field from teammate Ezequiel Ferrario that tied the score at 2-2. Ulloa added two more goals (one on a 60-yard penalty conversion) that ended he period with White Birch in the early lead, 4-2.
A subdued second period had Facundo Sola scoring on a 40-yard penalty shot, 4-3. Ulloa countered with a goal from the field with 1:31 left in the chukker. White Birch left the field with the upper hand in a 5-3 game.
Tomas Garcia del Rio converted a 30-yard penalty shot for a goal in the opening minute of the third period, bringing Valiente to within a goal of the lead, 5-4, but that was where it ended. Ulloa converted penalty shots from the 30 and 40-yard lines, 7-4, and added a goal from the field for a four goal, 8-4 advantage. Mariano Aguerre scored the last goal of the first half for White Birch a s they left the field on top of a 9-4 advantage.
Ulloa’s eighth goal of the game opened the second half and stretched the White Birch lead to six goals, 10-4. Cavanagh responded with a goal from the field with 3:53 on the clock. White Birch blanked Valiente for the balance of the period and picked up a closing goal from Ulloa on a 4-yard penalty shot for an 11-5 lead with just two chukkers remaining in the match.
Ferrario opened the fifth chukker with a goal from the field, 12-5, with just 19 seconds off the clock, 7:11. Tomas Garcia del Rio responded with a goal from the field at the 5:25 mark, 12-6. Ferrario scored again, 13-6. Sola and del Rio scored the final two goals of the period but White Birch remained firmly in control of the match, 13-8.
Cavanagh opened the final chukker with a goal from the field that had Valiente II within four goals of the lead, 13-9, with nearly seven minutes remaining in the period. Sola followed it up with a goal just a minute later, 13-10. Valiente II continued to press the attack, but time was on the side of White Birch. Cavanagh scored the final goal of the game or the final 13-11 score and a successful C. V. Whitney Cup debut by White Birch.
Hilario Ulloa scored nine goals (five on penalty conversions). Ferrario was credited with three goals and Aguerre added a goal in the victory. Cavanagh led the Valiente II offense with four goals (one on a penalty shot). Sola and del Rio each scored three times and the team received one goal by handicap.
As a result of Friday’s quarterfinals, Orchard Hill will play Lucchese (John Muse, Magoo Laprida, Nico Pieres and Sapo Caset) on Wednesday at 1pm. White Birch will face the winner of Saturday morning’s Audi vs. Coke contest on Wednesday’s 4pm contest.
C. V. Whitney Cup continues on Saturday morning, February 27th with a 10am game between Audi (Marc Ganzi, Gonzalo Pieres, Rodrigo Andrade and Fred Mannix) and Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Sugar Erskine, Julio Arellano and Miguel Astrada).