Polo Players Edition

DEC 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

Issue link: https://polo.epubxp.com/i/1055534

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 67

POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 27 before the teams played a tug-a-war with the ball. The teams were marking each other closely and teammates continually circled back around to help each other out. As the chukker was nearing its end, Ace got called for sandwiching an opponent, setting Marissa up for a Penalty 2, which she easily scored. The half ended with Marlan in control, 7-1. Ace came back out with renewed energy as Maddie made a big run out of the bowl- in but Marlan was able to stop the drive and send the ball in the other direction. Sophie held off an opponent, allowing Marissa to hit the target. Smith shot back, running to goal but the ball bounced just wide. After a melee, Smith got the ball back but Marissa stole it and passed to Sophie for the score. Moments later, Marissa backed the ball to Sophie, who sent it through on her nearside for a 10-1 lead. "I've always played with my mom, Kelly, and we make a great pair because she is great on defense and I'm great on offense," Marissa Wells said. "I've never played with Sophie before, but I loved playing with her and hope to do it again, [rather] than play against her!" Ace wouldn't back down and fought even harder. Maddie stole the ball from Marissa, got past Kelly and sent the ball into the goal. She made it two in a row when she scored moments later. Just when it seemed like Ace was finding its groove, Sophie sent the ball into the goal with another nearsider and Marissa followed with a two-pointer, ending the third with Marlan on top, 13-3. Marissa was called for reaching early in the fourth, giving Maddie a Penalty 2, which she easily scored. Marissa responded with a tally after carrying the ball along the wall. Maddie got the goal right back. Ace missed another Penalty 2 opportunity and to make matters worse, Sophie flipped the ball into the goal to give Marlan a 10-goal spread, 15-5. The teams continued to battle. Marlan missed on a Penalty 3 opportunity and another Ace attempt went wide. Smith finally found the mark on a backshot to goal. With time winding down, Kelly Wells shot in the last goal for the 16-6 Marlan victory. Sophie Grant, with six goals for the winners, was named MVP. "Marissa's passes were amazing," Sophie Grant said. "She put them right in front of the goal so I was just able to pop them in." Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to Sophie's third chukker horse, Bombita, a grey Argentine mare Grant purchased from Liv Stringer-Berube three years ago. Having the opportunity to play with her coach, the experience was special for Sophie Grant. "Kelly has been my only coach my whole life and I've learned everything from her, from riding to the basics so it's really amazing to play on a team with her and win." Echoing her sentiments, Kelly Wells was grateful for the opportunity to play with two young women so close to her. "It means a great deal to me so I'm very happy and blessed to be able to do this." Arena Handicap Sophie joined forces with her two sisters on the Drumcliffe team in the U.S. Women's Arena Handicap. "This is a great opportunity to play with my sisters again," Opposite page: Maddie Grant puts the pressure on Marissa Wells in the final of the Women's Arena Open. This page: Marlan Farm's Kelly and Marissa Wells share a hug. Sophie Grant is left.

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