By Alex Webbe
Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, Matias Torres Zavaleta, Adolfo Cambiaso and Diego Cavanagh) held Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Julian de Lusarreta, Julio Arellano and Miguel Astrada) to a single goal in the opening half of Sunday’s 26-goal C. V. Whitney Cup at the International Polo club as they raced out to a 7-1 lead on their way to a resounding 12-3 victory.
First chukker goals from Diego Cavanagh (30-yard penalty conversion) and Matias Torres Zavaleta went unanswered as the Valiente offense kept the pressure on a struggling Coca-Cola team. After the first chukker of play, Valiente took the lead, 2-0.
Valiente was fouled in the Coca-Cola goal mouth in the second period and was awarded a goal on a Penalty 1 that was followed by a 40-yard penalty goal from Cavanagh for a 4-0 advantage. With just 1:36 left in the chukker, Julian de Lusarreta put the ball over the goal line to get Coca-Cola on the scoreboard, 4-1. A late foul sent Cavanagh to the penalty line once again where he scored from 30-yards out. After two periods of play, the lead belonged to Valiente, 5-1.
Adolfo Cambiaso scored his first goal of the day in third period action followed by a goal from Zavaleta after a long, well-placed pass from the 10-goaler. Coca-Cola was held scoreless for the second time in three chukkers and fell behind by six goals, 7-1, at the end of the first half of play.
Cavanagh scored his fourth goal of the day and his first from the field as the fourth period got underway, 7-1. Coca-Cola fought back but had to settle for a 40-yard penalty goal from Julio Arellano. Coca-Cola matched Valiente goal-for-goal, but the lead remained firmly in Valiente’s control, 8-2.
Goals were scarce in the fifth with close marking employed by both sides. Cavanagh scored on another 30-yard penalty shot to extend the Valiente lead to seven goals, 9-2.
There was no rally left in the Coca-Cola lineup for the final chukker of the game. Cambiaso scored two more goals from the field and added a 60-yard penalty conversion while limiting Coke to a single goal from Julio Arellano.
Cavanagh led all scoring with five goals (fur on penalty shots). Cambiaso scored three of his four goals from the field with Zavaleta scoring twice. Valiente also received one goal on a Penalty 1. Arellano’s two goals (one on a 40-yard penalty conversion) were the team-high for Coca-Cola, with de Lusarreta scoring the only other goal of the game for them in the loss.
The win has Valiente undefeated at 1-0, and sets up Wednesday’s showdown with an unbeaten (1-0) Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Polito Pieres, Facundo Pieres and Felipe Vercellino) entry on Wednesday, March 1st at noon at the International Polo Club. The final is scheduled to take place at 3pm on Sunday, March 5th.