Ellerstina and La Dolfina continued their rampages in Saturday’s round 3 of the Hurlingham Open, giving seven-goal spankings to their opponents. Ellerstina took La Esquina Los Machitos 15-8, and La Dolfina tromped over Chapaleufú 12-5. The other two match-ups were more evenly pitched. Alegría snatched an 8-7 OT victory over La Albertina Abu Dhabi, and La Aguada Las Monjitas defeated La Dolfina Polo Ranch 14-10.
Wearing the #1 jersey as capably as ever, Polito Pieres emerged early on as key to Ellerstina’s command performance. He was exquisite at breaking away and finishing his shots at goal, starting in the second chukker, when he converted both of his shot attempts. The onslaught gave La Esquina’s power players, Mariano Aguerre and Rodrigo Rueda, little choice but to protect defensively.
Shortly before halftime Polito was perfectly perched on the goal line. He snatched the ball from Aguerre’s knock-in, Gonzalito jumped into the mix, and into goal it went. Depending on where you were sitting it was hard to see whose mallet it came off. Some game reports had it as a Polito goal, but it was officially credited to Gonza. Thus, Polito either had three or four goals on the day, but who cares? His execution across the board was well above his average.
Polito was more involved in the defensive half than he has been in the past few games. He also generated more offense than just staying out in the #1 position and waiting for a pass. He created scoring chances and won six throw-ins, more than we typically see from him. An ultra-energized Polito was quick to attack downfield toward goal, rather than holding the ball a bit more, which he has a tendency to do.
Meanwhile, Rodrigo Ribeiro de Andrade was the strongest player on the field for La Esquina. The Brazilian was aggressive throughout the game in the middle of the field and was a major reason La Esquina managed to generate the chances they did. However, Ellerstina capitalized on a slick passing attack, and on transitioning from defense to offense, to run away with the game.
-La Esquina shot an efficient 7/11 (64%) but couldn’t generate enough scoring chances. Ellerstina shot 12/21 (57%).
-Ellerstina only made 3 fouls, giving La Esquina 1 penalty attempt, keeping the game in open play where they controlled the ball.
-Ellerstina won the last 13 of 19 throw-ins (chukkers 3-7).
Photos by Katerina Morgan Photography