While the thrilling final between Ellerstina and La Dolfina caught headlines, there were other stories throughout the Hurlingham Open that made the 2018 edition an exciting set-up for the Argentine Open. Here are some standout teams to keep your eye on, all of which will play in this weekend’s opening games in Palermo.
LA ALBERTINA: Nicolás Roldán 7, Francisco Elizalde 8, Ignacio Toccalino 8, Alfredo Cappella Barabucci 8. Total: 31
Despite finishing the Hurlingham Open with a 1-3 record, La Albertina provided some of the most entertaining matches of the tournament. An 11-8 loss to La Dolfina saw them challenge the 40-goal juggernauts right up until the final chukker, despite conceding 9 goals on handicap. Alfredo Cappella was a stand-out player, as a defensive anchor and providing an offensive spark when needed. Following up their close defeat to La Dolfina, La Albertina faced another stern test against Las Monjitas and produced another strong performance that saw them match Las Monjitas stride-for-stride until the final two chukkers. Finally, La Albertina's final game saw them square off against evenly ranked Cría Yatay in a double-overtime thriller that went nine chukkers. With numerous chances to win, La Albertina ultimately fell short but played in multiple tense games that will only serve them well in the future. Despite ranking third last in goals per game with 9.5, La Albertina had the opportunity to win in all three of their losses, giving credit to their defense. Their fortunes could have been different in the Hurlingham Open, and they are definitely a team to watch in the Argentine Open.
LAS MONJITAS: Facundo Sola 9, Hilario Ulloa 10, Sapo Caset 10, Santiago Toccalino 8. Total: 37.
Las Monjitas continues to make strides toward reaching the upper echelon that is the exclusive domain on La Dolfina and Ellerstina. After an undefeated record through the first three games, a slow start against La Dolfina hindered Las Monjitas’s ability to provide much of a challenge in the game despite a strong second half. Throughout the tournament, Las Monjitas mounted one of the most lethal offenses, led by tournament goal-per-game leader Sapo Caset at 7.0 goals per game. But as has been the case before, their ability to slow the elite offenses of Ellerstina and La Dolfina kept them out of arm’s reach. Trailing only Ellerstina in field goals per game and shot attempts, the offense for Las Monjitas kept them in line as a team to beat in the Hurlingham Open but their defense was a step short in the semi-final defeat to La Dolfina.
LA ENSENADA: Juan Britos 7, Juan M. Zubía 7, Facundo Fernández Llorente 7, Jerónimo del Carril 7. Total: 28
Another standout team in the Hurlingham Open was La Ensenada. Entering the tournament tied for the lowest handicap at just 28 goals, La Ensenada's young team proved they are more than capable of playing above their handicap and finding their place within the Triple Crown, as they won the opening game of the tournament against Alegría-La Irenita. Building on his successful seasons in the US and UK, Juan Britos continues to shine on the biggest stages. He finished 8th in scoring at 5.0 goals per game, accounting for nearly half of his team’s 10.3 goals per game. After the excitement of the opening victory, La Ensenada provided stern challenges to La Aguada and La Dolfina Polo Ranch, proving they weren't going to be an easy defeat. The youth of Britos and Juan Martin Zubia provide the potential for a team to watch in the coming years, and the Hurlingham Open may have just been the start.
Photography: Helen Cruden