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USPA I/I Open National Interscholastic Championship Tournament

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Congratulations to the Houston Polo Club’s I/I Open team for making into the I/I post season. The Houston team won their Central Open Interscholastic Regional on February 25th. This win brought the boys to Ithaca, New York for a weekend of action packed games hosted at Cornell University for the Open National Interscholastic Championship Tournament. In the semifinals, Houston took on Gardnertown. The game broke out with defensive play from both sides holding the score to 0-0 until a spot hit was awarded to Gardnertown’s John Dencker, who scored a 2 point shot from 80 yards out. In the following line up, Gardnertown’s Joe Post took possession of the ball and quickly scored a field goal to bring the score to 3-0. Houston gained momentum with a penalty 2 conversion from Grayson Price followed by a second goal stuffed in by teammate Chino Payan. Gardnertown’s Matteo Chaux ended the chukker with a penalty 2 conversion to extend the lead to 4-2. In the second chukker, Joe Mack Stimmel subbed in for Anson Moore on the Houston team and quickly put up another goal off a rebound shot by Price. But Dencker took advantage of another spot hit to drive in a fifth goal for Gardnertown. Chaux followed up with a penalty 2 conversion and a field goal. Price took charge after the walk break with 2 penalty conversions and a field goal to bring his team within one point going into halftime, 7-6. Both teams came back from the half fired up but it was Dencker to score first followed by a pony goal for two more points in Gardnertown’s favor. Price knocked in another penalty 3 conversion bringing the score to 9-7. Dencker and Price traded goals to further the score to 10-8 and Gardnertown lucked out with another pony goal to end the third 11-8. In the fourth chukker, Gardnertown challenged Houston’s defense with two quick goals from Dencker and Post followed by another booming 2 point shot from Dencker to extend the lead to 15-8. Houston continued to fight with another penalty 2 conversion from Price and held Gardnertown to just one more goal in the final minute from Dencker to end the game, 16-9.

In the consolation game against Poway, Price led the first chukker with four goals scored and two additional goals kicked in by Houston’s ponies. Poway took charge in the second with three goals from Ian Schnoebelen and a goal from Skyler Dale to be matched by one goal from Houston’s Anson Moore. It was 7-4 at the half. Houston extended the lead with three goals from Stimmel and one a piece from Price and Payan. Schnoebelen put up a 2 point shot for his team followed by a goal from Dale to close out the chukker 12-7. In the fourth, Houston made a 6 goal run with two a piece from Price, Payan, and Stimmel with Gardnertown’s Schnoebelen and Dale scoring one each to end the game 18-9.

In between games all I/I players were offered the opportunity to participate in the USPA’s newest training program, Player Performance Analysis. Players ran through a swing and riding patterns captured on video from analysis post tournament. USPA Elite Clinicians will review the footage and create a personalized video for each player to help improve their polo in the upcoming seasons. For more information about Player Performance Analysis, click HERE.

Great season boys and Coach Mark Prinsloo!

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