May 28, 2019 9:19 PM
Qualifying in bracket play from a field of six teams (California Polo, Stanford Alumni, Stanford Mixed, Central Coast Polo, Cancha de Estrellas, KWH Equestrian), Cancha de Estrellas and KWH Equestrian emerged to challenge one another in the Pacific Coast Circuit Arena Women’s Challenge Final on Monday, May 28, at Central Coast Polo Club in Los Osos, California. Delivering on several two-point goals, Cancha de Estrellas commanded the field in the second half of play to earn the win 14-9 and the top prize of $3,500 in the first women’s money arena polo game.
In addition to a full weekend of competitive tournament games, the event included beach rides down Morro Bay on the Pacific Coast and wine tasting in an all-American Memorial Day fashioned barn barbecue. An impressive 15 of the total 18 players started or competed in USPA Interscholastic or Intercollegiate programs, with a range from veterans to beginners playing.
Striking quickly from the field, Cory Williams’ first chukker goal was countered soon after by a two-point shot by Kendall Plank. Starting off slowly in the first half, Cancha de Estrellas would increasingly gain momentum, building their confidence as the game progressed. As the competition intensified in the second, Cancha de Estrellas fired first, but Travis retaliated with two consecutive goals of her own. Unwilling to let her opponents create a sizable lead, Williams picked up a pair of goals to end the half with a one-goal difference 5-4.
Although KWH had the advantage heading into the third chukker, Cancha de Estrellas accepted the challenge and came alive in the third to seize the lead. Adding four goals between them, Williams and Sierra Dunbar each scored an impressive two-pointer to double the scoreboard. Prevented from making any successful plays, KWH Equestrian remained scoreless in the wake of five unanswered goals by a strong Cancha de Estrellas offense.
Now up 9-5 headed into the fourth and final chukker, Cancha de Estrella unleashed their skills on the field to claim their victory. An offensive powerhouse, Williams contributed four goals including a two-pointer to the scoreboard before the clock ran out. Striking for the sixth time, Travis nailed the ball between the posts to score the final goal, conceding the game 14-9 to Cancha de Estrellas. The winning team, sponsored by Sarah Siegel Magness, was presented with the $3,500 check while KWH Equestrian took home $1,500. These funds were made possible through the USPA Tournament Prize Money Matching Program.
Cory Williams was named Most Valuable Player, selected by Joel Baker and Carla Renard of the Women’s Committee. Williams also was awarded a new pair of Cheval polo boots.
Canella, owned by Central Coast Polo Club and played by KHW Equestrian’s Danielle Travis, was awarded the Best Playing Pony blanket.
The Sportsmanship Award was presented to Cornell University graduate, Kailey Eldredge.
All photos courtesy of ©Janelle Ross.
Effective Date: Saturday, May 16, 2020
The suspension of USPA Tournaments and Events will be lifted for USPA Member Clubs in locales where hosting polo matches and tournaments is permitted under applicable state and local laws, executive orders and similar decrees. The USPA Member Clubs in these locales are encouraged to follow all such requirements of their state and local authorities with respect to polo operations. In addition, we also encourage all USPA Member Clubs to take the precautions recommended by the CDC. We are preparing a detailed list of best practices for USPA Member Clubs as they return to hosting USPA Tournaments and Events and plan to circulate these guidelines within the next week. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will notify you if we determine a different course of action is necessary.Read More