REMAX (Dayelle Fargey, Jared Sheldon, Gordon Ross and Matthew Fonseca) let an early lead get away from them Sunday afternoon in the final of the 8-goal USPA Constitution Cup as a powerful Evergreen lineup (Tom Sprung, Carlitos Galindo, Juan Jo Gonzalez and Shane Rice) outscored them 6-2 in the final three chukkers of play for the win Sunday afternoon at the Empire Polo Club.
The two teams traded goals in a tentative opening chukker with Evergreen picking up goals from Juan Jo Gonzalez and Shane Rice. REMAX answered back with single goals from Matthew Fonseca and Jared Sheldon for a 2-2 tie.
Sheldon added two more goals to the REMAX total n the second while Evergreen was held to a single goal from Carlitos Galindo. After two chukkers REMAX found themselves in the lead, 4-3.
The action picked u in the third. Wide open play resulted in a total of six goals. Fonseca scored twice for REMAX with teammate Gordon Ross adding a goal for a total of three goals. However, Evergreen matched them goal-for-goal. An aggressive Evergreen attack resulted in REMAX fouls that sent Rice to the penalty line where he converted twice from the 40-yard mark and once from 60-yards out. At the end of the first half, REMAX continued to defend their 7-6, one-goal advantage.
A disciplined and aggressive Evergreen defense held REMAX scoreless in the fourth while the Evergreen offense put two goals on the board. Galindo opened the second half with a goal from the field and Rice added another penalty goal. The lead had changed hands, with Evergreen on top, 8-7.
Both defenses were in top form in the fifth, allowing no goals from the field. Fonseca’s fourth goal of the day tied the game at 8-8, but Evergreen battled back. Penalties were costly for REMAX again as Rice took advantage of their miscues, converting penalty shots from 30-yards and 60-yards. The Evergreen led grew to two goals, 10-8, with one period remaining in regulation play.
Two more goals from Rice in the sixth (one on a penalty conversion) were countered by a single penalty goal from Ross and Evergreen rode off the field with the 12-9 win.
Rice scored a game-high nine goals (seven on penalty shots) and earned MVP honors for his efforts. Galindo added two goals and Gonzalez scored once in the win. Teammate Dayelle Fargey’s pony, Peace, was named Best Playing Pony. Fonseca’s four goals set the pace for the REMAX offense. Sheldon scored one of his three goals from the penalty line and Ross added two goals in the loss.
The first round of cousin vs. cousin (Jared Sheldon and Shane Rice) goes to Rice and his Evergreen team, but with 8-goal competition on tap for next weekend, family bragging rights for the season aren’t over yet.
The 2017-2018 Empire Polo season attracts players from across the country and around the world and offers fourteen weekends of fast-paced polo in the beautiful and relaxed setting of California’s winter playground.
The Empire Polo Club is located at 81-800 Avenue 51 in Indio, CA. For further information go to the club website at http://empirepolo.com or call 760-342-7755.