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New Bridge Polo & Country Club - sf

12:00 PM ET

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22

ASSOCIATION CUP

New Bridge Polo & Country Club - sf

2:00 PM ET

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BRONZE TROPHY®

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

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New Bridge Polo & Country Club

4:00 PM ET

Goose Green/Hutchinson Farm

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Thu

Oct

22

ASSOCIATION CUP

New Bridge Polo & Country Club - sf

12:00 PM ET

SIG

Triple Crown/La Bourgone

Thu

Oct

22

ASSOCIATION CUP

New Bridge Polo & Country Club - sf

2:00 PM ET

Out East

Brookland Plantation

Fri

Oct

23

BRONZE TROPHY®

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

11:00 AM ET

Foxdale Equine

Hit Air

Fri

Oct

23

BRONZE TROPHY®

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

4:00 PM ET

Goose Green/Hutchinson Farm

SD Farms

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UVA DOMINATE TO CAPTURE $20,000 EASTERN CIRCUIT ARENA CONGRESSIONAL CUP

Aug 06, 2019 11:06 AM

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UVA winners with check
Eastern Circuit Arena Congressional Cup Champions: UVA - Brennan Wells, Jack McLean, Connor Deal. Pictured with UVA Coach Lou Lopez.

The final of the $20,000 Eastern Circuit Arena Congressional Cup at Great Meadow Polo Club in The Plains, Virginia, on Thursday, August 1, featured an impressive performance from UVA, who led from start to finish, capturing the 16-9 victory over Chetwood. In addition to the championship trophy, first place team UVA earned $10,000 in prize money while $6,000 was awarded to the runners-up and $4,000 reserved for third place for a grand total of $20,000 in tournament prize money.

UVA were presented with a $20,000 prize money check from Eastern Circuit Governor Joe Muldoon. Also pictured Great Meadow Polo Club Manager John Gobin and Ray Reagan.
UVA was presented with a $20,000 commemorative tournament prize money check from Eastern Circuit Governor Joe Muldoon. Also pictured Great Meadow Polo Club Manager John Gobin and Ray Reagan.

A balanced, offensive strategy from UVA (Connor Deal*, Brennan Wells, Jack McLean) proved difficult for Chetwood (Adair Seager, Wyatt Harlow, Trevor Reeves Niznik) to resist, with the strong attack on full display in the opening chukker. A fast pace was set from the beginning of the match, resulting in seven rapid field goals between the two teams within the first seven minutes. Each member of the team scoring two goals each, UVA held a significant advantage by the end of the first 6-2. UVA conceded possession to Chetwood before the end of the half after a couple fouls, leading to a strong showing from Harlow in the second, who scored three consecutive goals for Chetwood. Scoring four goals in the first half, McLean’s efforts propelled UVA forward to take a commanding 9-5 lead at halftime.

UVA's Brennan Wells carries the ball down the arena at speed.
UVA's Brennan Wells carries the ball down the arena at speed.

In the second half the flow of play changed as the game slowed and the defense tightened. Adding two goals to the tally, Harlow scored his sixth goal of the day for Chetwood, but UVA effectively managed their lead to remain ahead by four at the end of the third 12-8. Implementing an effective offensive strategy, all three UVA players added a goal in the third, forcing Chetwood to scramble for a late comeback in the fourth. Striving to close the gap, Chetwood’s forceful style of play in the final minutes worked against them, producing three fouls, allowing McLean the opportunity to score a final two-pointer to cement the win. Commanding the scoring from the beginning, UVA was awarded the trophy with an impressive 16-9 win.

Chetwood's Trevor Niznik prepares for a booming backshot as UVA's Connor Deal rides in strong on defense.
Chetwood's Trevor Niznik prepares for a booming backshot as UVA's Connor Deal rides in strong on defense.

Responsible for seven of UVA’s 16 total goals, Jack McLean was named Most Valuable Player. “I was extremely confident on the Virginia horses, thanks to the work of Lou Lopez and Jessica Schmitt,” McLean shared. “The horsepower made a world of difference allowing us to cruise to victory.”

Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to Trevor Reeves Niznik’s five-year old Thoroughbred mare Clementine who he played in the fourth chukker. “I bought her from Negro Lynch and she is from Wellington, Florida. I've owned her for one year,” Reeves said. “She has been going really well and has a lot of speed and potential. Hopefully she will be playing in high-goal one day.”

Drawing a crowd of almost 500 people, Club Manager John Gobin discussed the thrilling tournament. “The USPA and Great Meadow Polo Club teamed up to produce the first money tournament in Virginia history, with UVA displaying themselves as the best of six teams in the terrific event.”

*Connor Deal is a member of Team USPA. 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 ©Mike Ryan

USPA

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