Polo Players Edition

JUL 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/996749

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Page 27 of 67

26 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N UVA from making any successful shots on goal until the second. "We strategized to play simple, stay with the man and try to win the throw- ins," Christian Aycinena said. Breaking the silence and retaliating with an almost identical chukker, UVA reevaluated its strategy and came out just as aggressively. A true team effort, each UVA player contributed a goal in succession, Kamran Pirasteh's second goal leveling the scoreboard 4-all going into the half. Witnessing how fast the game could shift, TAMU reorganized and returned to the game motivated to shut UVA's comeback down. Trading goals back and forth, TAMU accumulated five penalties, two of which Ali Mobtaker was able to convert. Narrowly retaining the lead at the end of the third, 7-6, TAMU brought every ounce of energy and skill into the final chukker. Action-packed from the first throw-in to the last, both teams went all out and repeatedly made powerful shots on goal with noticeable intensity. "I told them you have less than three minutes left to play polo and so go out there and play it like it's the last game of your life, man-to-man first," Texas A&M coach Mike McCleary said. "And that's what I've been preaching to my team for over 40 years now. They are taking the man first, controlling their man and then they'll control the ball." Consistently one goal behind, UVA battled fiercely to catch up, but Mariano Silva's pivotal two-point shot increased the Texas A&M lead. Running out of time, UVA delivered on two additional goals, but TAMU's offensive drive was too significant to overcome. The game ended with TAMU on top 13-11 clinching its spot in the final against SMU. Texas Shootout Making its first appearance in the NIC final last year, SMU was eager to prove its worth and found itself once again face-to- face with the opportunity to make intercollegiate history by capturing its first university title. Pitted against SMU, and equally as passionate to recapture its 2016 title, the SMU's JT Shiverick and TAMU's Christian Aycinena battle in the men's final. Both Shiverick and Aycinena were later named All-Stars. T exas A&M Christian Aycinena Fritz Felhaber Gideon Kotkowski Mariano Silva Southern Methodist University M ichael Armour Jed Cogan Barrett Coke Ramon de la Torre Jacob Klentner Nicholas Salnikoff James Shiverick University of Virginia A li Mobtaker Merrall Echezarreta Kamran Pirasteh Antonio Mendes de Almeida Cornell Lorenzo Masias Morgan Palacios Ryan Saul Daniel Shaw Cal Poly Theo Anastos Sayge Ellington Stone Rush Western Ontario Kingsley Ward Evan White Andrew Begg CJ Sifton Mich Ward

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