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USPA SOUTHWESTERN CIRCUIT GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON JR. TOURNAMENT A SUCESS

Jul 05, 2017 7:14 PM

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USPA Southwestern Circuit George S. Patton Jr. Tournament winners: Marine Corps - (L to R) Leigh Fulkerson, Grayson Greening, John Greening, Javier Insua. © Martha Bagley.
USPA Southwestern Circuit George S. Patton Jr. Tournament winners: Marine Corps - (L to R) Leigh Fulkerson, Grayson Greening, John Greening, Javier Insua. © Martha Bagley.

The Central Texas Polo Association, a consortium of three USPA polo clubs, ATX, Heart of Texas and Texas Military, held a USPA Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton Jr. Tournament at ATX Polo Club in Manor, Texas, on June 3, 2017. Five teams representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force played in the tournament in front of a packed crowd, an asado followed the final match.

Team Rosters

Army (1)
Kyle Brown B
Keller Henderson A
Pud Nieto 1
Ariel Rodriguez 1

Marine Corps (.5)
Grayson Greening B
Leigh Fulkerson B.5
Javier Insua 2
John Greening A

Navy (.5)
Reuben Brooks B
Karl Hilberg A
Marlon Pimeinta A.5
Gustavo Maldon 1

Coast Guard (1)
Ursula Pari A.5
Gal Shweiki A.5
Jack Crea 1

Air Force (2)
Lara Semmelman B
Glen Voorhees 1
Mike Lancaster 1
Javier Maldonado 1

Marine Corps' Javier Insua on the ball with Army's Ariel Rodriguez attempting to hook. © Martha Bagley.
Marine Corps' Javier Insua on the ball with Army's Ariel Rodriguez attempting to hook. © Martha Bagley.

The tournament draw resulted in Marine Corps playing Navy in a regular match to open the event which would be followed by the Army, Coast Guard and Air Force in a round robin game.

The first match between Marine Corps and Navy began with Navy’s Hilberg scoring a goal from the field, but this was quickly matched by the Marine Corps’ Fulkerson, Insua and Grayson Greening each scoring a goal to end the chukker with Marine Corps leading 3-1. The second chukker started with a bowl-in where Hilberg was able to win the ball and pass to Maldon for the score. Unfortunately for Navy, the Marine Corps picked up two more in the second chukker, three in third and five more in the final to win in a runaway 13-2.

Sportsmanship Award winner Gal Shweiki. © Martha Bagley.
Sportsmanship Award winner Gal Shweiki. © Martha Bagley.

The first match of the round robin had Army facing Air Force. The first of the two chukkers were close with each team scoring a goal. Air Force was the first with Maldonado converting a Penalty 4, quickly followed by Nieto scoring a goal from the field. In the second chukker each team had a number of penalties, however, Air Force was able to convert two while Army remained scoreless. With the win, Air Force was able to rest and watch the next two chukkers between Army and Coast Guard.

Similar to the last chukker of the previous game, Army and Coast Guard each had a number of penalties but Army was able to convert a Penalty 3 while Coast Guard missed a Penalty 4. The second chukker continued the pattern of the previous two with each team playing strong defense and holding the other from scoring. This time it was Coast Guard which converted a Penalty 3 to even the score 1-1 and end the match. A one-person shootout was held to break the tie. Coast Guard’s Crea missed his shot, but Army’s Rodriguez swung straight leading to an Army win 2-1. With both the Air Force and Army each having one win, it was down to the last game of the round robin to see who would advance to the championship to face Marine Corps.

​Most Valuable Player Grayson Greening. © Martha Bagley
​Most Valuable Player Grayson Greening. © Martha Bagley

The third match of the round robin had Air Force returning to the field to face Coast Guard. The first chukker was yet another defensive game with a number of penalties by both teams, but neither team able to convert for a score. The final chukker opened quickly for Coast Guard as both Pari and Crea scored from the field. The next few minutes of play saw both teams playing strong defense, but in the last minute of the game Air Force quickly capitalized on a Penalty 2 to bring the score to 2 -1. Unfortunately, time ran out before Air Force was able to make any more goals.

With each of the three teams winning one game in the round robin it came down to shootout with all players to see which team would win and advance to the championship. Army’s Rodriguez scored the winning shot that advanced his team to the championship.

Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to Paola owned and ridden by Ariel Rodriguez. © Martha Bagley.
Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to Paola owned and ridden by Ariel Rodriguez. © Martha Bagley.

The first chukker of the championship started out with the Marine Corps Insua scoring from the field, quickly followed by Army’s Rodriguez. With a number of minor penalties by Army breaking up the flow of the play, the Marine Corps’ team closed out the chukker with a second goal. Heading into the second chukker, the score was 2-1 in favor of Marine Corps. Strong defense by both teams, especially Army resulted in a scoreless chukker.

After the half, both teams came out charging with Rodriguez scoring two for Army, while Fulkerson scored two and John Greening scored his second of the game. With Marine Corps leading 5-3 at the start of the final chukker the game was still close. However, the fourth chukker was all Marine Corps with Insua scoring back-to-back goals and John Greening scoring his third. Strong defense by Grayson Greening and Fulkerson held Army scoreless in the final chukker leading to the Marine Corps victory 8-3.

Most Valuable Player was awarded to Grayson Greening and the Sportsmanship Award went to Gal Shweiki. Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to Paola owned and ridden by Ariel Rodriguez.  

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