The final 20 goal tournament of the winter season got off to an incredible start as Audi and Coke-Cola were both determined to take home this years Ylvisaker Cup. Ironically, both teams played each other just two days earlier in the first round of the 26 goal Whitney Cup with Coke taking home an 11 to 7 victory. Audi team captain Marc Ganzi (1) was sidelined early in that match after taking a line drive in the hand.
But he was back in the saddle for this important match. Tommy Collingwood (3) nailed the first goal of the game to put Coke-Cola ahead one to nothing in the opening minutes. Audi failed to score in the second period but closed within one goal at the half trailing 4 to 3. With only two minutes left in the 5th Nico Pieres (8) put Audi ahead by one for the first time in the game. An excellent game played by both sides and at the end of regulation time it was tied at 8-all.
Three minutes into the overtime and Audi fouled just ten yards in front of the Coca-Cola goal. Julio Arellano (9) knocked it in the take the title for Coca-Cola. It was their second 20 goal win in three tournaments this season. Sugar Erskine (7), having one of his best seasons in recent years, walked off with the MVP award and his mare Leila was the Best Playing Pony.
Three major 26-goal tournaments remain on the Florida winter schedule with one already underway. As the 20 goal was still going on the polo club started the 26 goal creating difficult scheduling demands on the players and horses alike. The Whitney Cup will be decided on Sunday March third to be followed by the Gold Cup and then the U.S. Open in April.
Ron Allen has been covering polo for ESPN Television for seven years.