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 28 of 67

POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 27 formidable Texas A&M team took the field. Each team on a mission, sparked by more than just friendly rivalry but a valiant campaign, an exhausting game pursued between the evenly-matched squads. Ultimately, the game was decided after a demanding six rounds of overtime penalty shootouts, during which Texas A&M prevailed 13-12. T rading goals, offensive powerhouses Aycinena and Shiverick dominated first chukker play; a trend that would pervade throughout the entire match. After the first walk break, Shiverick crushed two field goals to give SMU the lead moving into the next chukker, 4-2. Not to be outdone, Aycinena countered with two of his own in the second to equalize the score 4-all. Once again, SMU would shine after the walk break by working cohesively with renewed energy, scoring three combined field goals. A goal from Aycinena kept Texas A&M in the game trailing by two to end the half 7-5. SMU continued its forward momentum, outscoring Texas A&M in the third. SMU substituted Michael Armour for Jake Klentner, widening the gap to 10-7, entering the final chukker. Feeling the pressure, Aycinena rose to the occasion, scoring the only two- pointer of the game at the onset of the fourth to close-in on SMU. He was followed up nicely by Felhaber who equalized the score, 10-all. Mirroring first chukker play, Shiverick scored two consecutive goals to regain the lead, but Aycinena struck fast to bring the score within one. As time ran down, SMU coach Tom Goodspeed swapped out an injured Shiverick for Klentner. Aycinena's quick stick scored the final equalizing goal, which forced the game into an overtime penalty shootout for the second year in a row. The teams matched goals after three rounds of penalty shootouts, sending the game into a fourth overtime penalty shootout. Both teams buckled under the influence of stress and fatigue, and the fourth round shootout proved a bust, neither team claiming a goal. The fifth round shot found Shiverick and Felhaber effectively scoring for their teams, however, tied once again, the match went into an unbelievable sixth round of penalties. SMU failed to capitalize on its two penalties of the round, while Mariano Silva nailed a booming shot straight to goal and Felhaber followed suit to cement the narrow 13-12 victory for Texas A&M. McCleary gave some final thoughts on the game and sage advice for players of all ages. "Both teams had some breakdowns and both teams had some really brilliant plays. It was just a matter of not giving up. You don't quit just because you are down, you give it all you've got." Men's All-Star awards were presented to JT Shiverick (SMU), Lorenzo Masias (Cornell), Mariano Silva (Texas A&M) and the now two-time national champion Christian Aycinena (Texas A&M). Cornell's Dan Shaw received the Connie Upchurch Award for Sportsmanship. For the second consecutive year, Jaguar, a bay gelding played by Shiverick and Aycinena in the final and owned by George Dill, was bestowed with Best Playing Pony honors, and Best Playing String was awarded to George Dill's String No. 1. Men's horses were provided by Dill and Cal Poly. Women's Division The first game of the women's division belonged to Texas A&M. Knowing Cal Poly had the advantage of familiar horses, Texas A&M made a solid start from the first throw-in and established a commanding lead, which grew with every chukker. Powerful from both the penalty line and the field, high- scorer Marissa Wells started off the charge, combining with Ally Vaughn and Kendall Plank for six unanswered goals by the end of the first. "We knew it was going to be competitive since Cal Poly was a home team and playing on their own horses," Wells said. "We knew we had to go to the man hard, rotate, hit the ball well, and score goals. Margarita (owned by Stanford) was really handy in the first chukker and she allowed me to get quickly back to the ball so I scored a lot Danny Scheraga, left, Lou Lopez, center and Jeff Scheraga, far right, present Best String Awards to George Dill (men's division) and student Celeste Turner for Stanford (women's division).

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