Nov 16, 2022 8:15 PM
On November 15, the U.S. Open Women’s Handicap kicked off at the Houston Polo Club in Houston, Texas. Featuring four teams and numerous players returning to the prestigious women’s competition, the opening day of play offered close matches and spectacular displays of talent and teamwork.
In the first game, BCI/Alliant (Cara Kennedy, Maddie Grant, Sophie Grant*, Anna Winslow-Palacios) and QR Jets (Grace Mudra, Lily Lequerica, KC Krueger, Sarah Wiseman) met to open up the competition. BCI/Alliant started with a 2-goal handicap advantage. Under expert leadership from Wiseman, QR Jets quickly caught up and evened out the score with goals from Lequerica, Wiseman, and Krueger within the first chukker and just one goal in response from BCI/Alliant’s Sophie Grant. With only Krueger and Maddie able to find the goal in the second chukker, both teams entered halftime in a 4-all deadlock.
Able to hold BCI/Alliant scoreless in the third chukker, Krueger weaved her way to goal again to give QR Jets a narrow 5-4 lead going into the final chukker. Sisters Maddie and Sophie Grant, however, proved to be a formidable duo for BCI/Alliant, especially as the clock was winding down. Two goals from the field and a successful penalty conversion off the mallet of Maddie Grant pushed momentum back in BCI/Alliant’s direction. And while Mudra attempted to offset her opponents’ offensive drive with a goal of her own, Winslow-Palacios sealed the 8-6 win with a final score late in the chukker.
Lockton/San Ysidro (Hannah Reynolds, Audry Persano*, Tiamo Hudspeth*, Lottie Lamacraft) and E3 Electric/The Plank Companies (Joanie Jackson, Kendall Plank, Phillipa Fitz Henry, Erica Gandomcar-Sachs) took the field next. E3 Electric/The Plank Companies began the game with a 1.5 goal handicap advantage.
Lockton/San Ysidro fought relentlessly to combat the initial deficit, with one goal from Hudspeth, an additional three from Lamacraft and a shutout first half giving their team a comfortable 4-1.5 lead heading into the break.
Persano and Lamacroft combined forces to each score in the third chukker, while E3 Electric/The Plank Companies remained scoreless, still struggling to create momentum in their favor. With the score standing at 6-1.5 entering the final chukker, Plank was able to take advantage of two penalty opportunities to finally help E3 Electric/The Plank Companies gain traction, while Lamacraft responded to Plank’s successful conversions with a goal of her own. Late in the chukker, Plank was able to score one last time, but her team’s comeback efforts came too late to change the fate of the game, allowing Lockton/San Ysidro to escape with the 7-4.5 win.
With these results, BCI/Alliant will move on to play Lockton/San Ysidro on Thursday, November 17 at 3:00pm ET/2:00pm CT and QR Jets will meet E3 Electric/The Plank Companies at 4:30pm ET/2:00pm CT. Tune in to Global Polo TV to see all of the action live and catch the thrilling final on Sunday, November 20 at 3:00pm ET/2:00pm CT.
*Sophie Grant is an Active Team USPA Member. Audry Persano and Tiamo Hudspeth are Team USPA alumnae. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.
All photos courtesy of ©Kaylee Wroe.
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