The Maryland Girls’ Interscholastic Polo Team won the Girls’ National Interscholastic Championship for a third consecutive year, defeating Garrison Forest 15-8 in the final at Empire Polo Club in the 25th anniversary event. Five of the top high school girls’ polo teams qualified for the finals, including Cornell Interscholastic Polo Team, Culver Academies, and Central Coast Polo Club.
Based in Freeland, Maryland, the team included Catie Stueck and three sisters Abbie, Maddie, and Sophie Grant. Maryland dominated the competition, leading from the first chukker to the last. Wiley scored the first goal and Maddie Grant answered with three consecutive goals, two on penalties and one from the field. At the end of the first chukker, Maryland led 3-1. Bennett was on fire in the second, scoring three goals for Garrison Forest, two on penalties, and one from the field. Maddie Grant scored two more goals for Maryland and Sophie Grant also contributed to the scoreboard. Maryland led 6-4 at the end of the first half.
Maryland pushed on in the third chukker, scoring four goals to Garrison Forest’s two. Maddie Grant sent two through the posts and Stueck scored once from the field. Reynolds and Wiley scored from the field for Garrison Forest for a Maryland lead of 10-6 going into the final chukker. Wiley and Bennett scored two more goals combined from the field for Garrison Forest, but Maryland would not be denied. Stueck scored on a penalty and from the field, and Maddie Grant scored three more goals from the field, giving her a total of 10 goals.
“It was a great game, very aggressive. It was great polo played by both teams,” said Maddie Grant, who competed along with her sister, Abbie in all three years on the winning Maryland Girls’ Interscholastic Polo Team. “We would also like to give a shout out to Wrightway Polo, who provided us with our string.” Wrightway Polo won the 2016 Girls’ National Best Playing String and owns the 2016 Girls’ National Best Playing Pony, Serena. Kyra Umrigar won the 2016 Girls’ National Sportsmanship award. The All-Stars of the tournament were Maddie Grant of Maryland Polo Club, Lila Bennett of Garrison Forest School, Petra Teixeira of Central Coast Polo Club, and Hannah Reynolds of Garrison Forest School.
Mr. and Mrs. Dan Colhoun donated and presented the trophy. “It was an outstanding game,” he says. “Two teams from Maryland came all the way to California to play for the championship.”
The Girls’ USPA National Interscholastic Championship is part of the United States Polo Association’s Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) polo program, which is dedicated to growing the sport by providing exposure to it, coordinating activities, recruiting collegiate and scholastic institutions, and providing organized competition at regional and national levels with an emphasis on sportsmanship, fairness, and safety.