by U.S. Polo Correspondent Alex Webbe

Polito Pieres scored the first goal of the game in the opening 25 seconds of play to give Villa Del Lago the early lead. Jeff Blake responded with a goal for ERG, but Agustin Obregon closed out the scoring with a goal in the final 32 seconds of the chukker for the 2-1 score. Three consecutive goals in the second period had Villa Del Lago on top, 5-1. Villa Del Lago got two goals from Pieres and another goal from Obregon. Paco de Narvaez got ERG on the scoreboard, but at the end of the second chukker Villa Del Lago was in front by three goals, 5-2. The two teams exchanged goals in the third with Magoo Laprida scoring twice from the field while ERG relied on a pair of penalty goals from de Narvaez. The first half ended with Villa Del Lago defending its two goal lead, 6-4.

Two more goals from de Narvaez (one on a penalty shot) were offset by a pair of goals from Laprida, and the fourth chukker ended with Villa Del Lago maintaining its lead, 8-6. Pieres added two more goals to the Villa Del Lago total in the fifth, but ERG got single goals from Scott Wood and de Narvaez (a 60-yard penalty conversion). ERG continued to trail by two goals, 10-8. Just one minute into the final chukker, Blake scored to cut the Villa Del Lago lead to a single goal, 10-9, but they would get no closer. Pieres converted a penalty shot for a goal, 11-9. ERG continued to press its attack, but time wasn’t on its side. De Narvaez scored the final goal of the game, but the Villa Del Lago defense kept them off the scoreboard for the final three minutes of the game to ride off with the 11-10 win.

Polito Pieres set the pace for Villa Del Lago with six goals, one on a penalty shot. Magoo Laprida and Agustin Obregon scored two goals apiece and Villa Del Lago was awarded one goal on a Penalty 1 for dangerous riding in the area of the goal. ERG’s Paco de Narvaez led all scoring with seven goals, five on penalty shots. Jeff Blake added a goal from the field and a penalty conversion for a goal and Scott Wood accounted for a goal in the loss. Magoo Laprida was named MVP for his efforts while Lola, a 6-year-old Bay mare owned by Marcos Bignoli and played by Polito Pieres was honored as Best Playing Pony.

ZACARA 11, VALIENTE 10
Earlier in the day, Zacara overcame a 5-1 second chukker deficit Sunday morning to record a 12-11 win over a powerful Valiente lineup as Facundo Pieres led all scoring with seven goals in the 2013 Joe Barry Memorial Cup at the International Polo Club in Wellington. Following runs by each team up and down the field, Adolfo Cambiaso scored the first goal of the game halfway through the opening chukker to give Valiente the first lead of the game, 1-0. Two minutes later Hilario Ulloa scored for Zacara for a 1-1 tie. Alfredo Capella (Barabucci) put Valiente ahead with a go-ahead goal with just 11 seconds on the clock in the first chukker for the 2-1 lead.

Valiente got into gear in the second period, with Capella scoring consecutive goals within two minutes of one another. Teammate Julio Gracida’s first goal of the game had Valiente on top, 5-1 with four-and-one-half minutes left in the chukker. The period ended with Ulloa scoring a goal from the field and Facundo Pieres converting a 60-yard penalty shot for a goal. Valiente led by two goals, 5-3. Goals were a precious commodity in the third chukker. The teams were four minutes into the period before Capella’s third goal of the game had Valiente leading, 6-3. Pieres closed out the scoring with a goal from the field in the last minute of play and Zacara left the field trailing Valiente by two goals, 6-4.

Pieres cut the lead to a single goal in the fourth chukker on a 60-yard penalty shot for a goal and Zacara team captain Lyndon Lea had it all even at 6-6 on his first score of the game. Pieres thrilled hundreds of spectators as he raced down the field with the ball to score and put Zacara in the lead for the first time all day, 7-6. The lead was short-lived, however, with Valiente being awarded a goal on a Penalty 1, for dangerous riding in the goal area. Cambiaso drew oohs and aahs from the crowd just seconds later when he backhanded the ball over a crowd in front of the goal to give the lead back to Valiente, 8-7. The pace of the game continued to quicken in the fifth. Fourteen-year-old Matias Gonzalez took a pass from Lea and scored his first goal of the match to tie it up at 8-8. Capella moved Valiente ahead once again on a well-placed shot from 80 yards out, 9-8. Midway through the period, Gonzalez knotted it up once again, 9-9, with his second goal of the game. Gracida put Valiente on top once again with a penalty conversion, 10-9, but Pieres converted a 30-yard penalty shot to deadlock it 10-10 to end the chukker.

Four minutes into the final period of regulation time, Pieres broke loose and raced down the field over 200 yards to put Zacara back in the lead, 11-10. A minute later, Cambiaso converted a penalty shot and tied it up once again, 11-11. With under a minute left in regulation time, Pieres scored the final goal of the game, giving the 12-11 win to Zacara. The victory boosts Zacara into Wednesday’s semifinals where it will play Crab Orchard at 3pm. Facundo Pieres was credited with seven goals, four on penalty shots. Hilario Ulloa and Matias Gonzalez scored two goals apiece and Lyndon Lea added a goal in the win. Alfredo Capella (Barabucci) scored five times for Valiente. Adolfo Cambiaso registered four goals, two on penalty shots and Julio Gracida scored a pair of goals (one on a penalty shot).

LECHUZA CARACAS 9, FARAWAY 8
In a noon contest, Hutton Goodman’s Faraway polo team jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after the opening chukker but fell to Lechuza Caracas, 9-8, in Joe Barry Memorial Cup competition Sunday afternoon. Pelon Escapite scored three first chukker goals from the field and Faraway added a penalty conversion from Argentine 9-goaler Santiago Chavanne for a lopsided 4-0 start. Defenses tightened in the second chukker with Escapite adding another Faraway goal on a penalty conversion. Lechuza Caracas responded with a pair of penalty goals from Goti and the chukker ended with Faraway guarding a 5-2 lead. Lechuza Caracas finally got into sync in the third period. A single goal from Faraway’s Chavanne was answered by four Lechuza Caracas goals (two from Goti on penalty shots and single goals from Agustin Nero and Adam Snow) as the first half ended in a 6-6 tie.

Lechuza Caracas took control of the game in the fourth chukker, shutting out the Faraway offense and tallying a pair of goals from Goti (one from the field and one on a penalty shot). With two chukkers left to play, Lechuza Caracas had taken a two goal, 8-6 lead. Goti’s seventh goal of the game had Lechuza leading by three goals, 9-6 in the fifth. Escapite kept Faraway from getting shut out for the second consecutive chukker by scoring a goal in the final 38 seconds of the period. The Lechuza lead stood at two goals, 9-7, with one chukker left to play.

Faraway continued to press their attack, but Lechuza Caracas wasn’t having any of it. Defensive backhanders and well-timed interceptions kept their attack at bay. With just under four minutes left in the game, Escapite registered his sixth goal of the game, but that was where it ended. Lechuza rode out the balance of the game for the 9-8 victory. Tomas Goti led all scoring with seven goals (five on penalty shots). Agustin Nero and Adam Snow added single goals in the win. Pelon Escapite set the pace for Faraway with six goals (one on a penalty shot). Santiago Chavanne scored twice (once on a penalty conversion).

PIAGET 11, LUCCHESE 10
It was a reshuffled lineup for both Piaget and Lucchese as they faced one another in the final round of play in the 2013 Joe Barry memorial Cup competition Sunday morning, with Piaget coming out on the winning end of an 11-10 score. Juan Bollini remained as the only original member of the 2013 20-goal Piaget lineup as he was joined by Juan Badiola, Brandon Phillips and Lucas Lalor. Lucchese had Marianito Gracida filling in for Jason Crowder, later replaced by former 10-goaler Carlos Gracida. A pair of goals from Lucas Lalor and a goal from Juan Bollini went unanswered in the opening chukker for a 3-0 Piaget lead.

Brandon Phillips scored a single goal for Piaget in the second chukker, but a pair of goals from Carlos Gracida and a single goal from Sebastian Merlos saw Lucchese cut the lead to a single goal, 4-3. Lalor’s third goal of the game extended the Piaget lead to two goals, 5-3, but Carlos Gracida fired back with his third goal of the game as well. At the end of the first half Piaget guarded a one goal lead, 5-4. Piaget controlled the fourth chukker, scoring four times (three from Phillips and a goal from Bollini) while limiting the Lucchese attack to a single goal from Merlos. With two chukkers left to play, the Piaget lead had grown to four goals, 9-5.

Two more penalty conversions from Phillips were countered by penalty goals from Merlos and Carlos Gracida. At the end of the fifth chukker Piaget held the four goal lead, 11-7. Carlos Gracida added three more goals to the Lucchese total in the final chukker while Piaget failed to score. Time expired with Piaget celebrating the 11-10 win. Carlos Gracida’s seven goals led all scoring, with three of them coming on penalty shots. Sebastian Merlos accounted for the remaining three Lucchese goals (one on a penalty shot). Brandon Phillips recorded six goals for Piaget (four on penalty goals). Lucas Lalor scored three times and Juan Bollini was credited with two goals for the win.


SATURDAY, 19th of January 2013

AUDI 10, LA HERRAADURA 9
Audi rallied in final chukker of Saturday afternoon’s Joe Barry Memorial Cup match to score an exciting 10-9 win over the veteran La Herradura lineup. La Herradura entered the final Joe Barry Memorial Cup match Saturday afternoon as one of only four remaining unbeaten teams in the tournament. Previously unbeaten Goose Creek (2-1) had fallen to Crab Orchard (2-1), and Villa Del Lago (2-0), Valiente (2-0) and Zacara (2-0) wouldn’t play again until Sunday. Boasting a roster that fielded former 10-goalers Carlos Gracida and Memo Gracida, the challenge promised to be a formidable one, and hard riding and lightning fast passes were commonplace as the two struggled through a contest that was annoyed by light rainfall.

Carlos Gracida opened the scoring by converting a pair of penalty shots for goals. His brother memo Gracida made it 3-0 with his first goal of the game before Audi managed to find any offensive rhythm. Carlitos Gracida (son of La Herradura’s Carlos Gracida) managed to get Audi in the scoring column with a great individual effort in the final seconds of the first chukker. La Herradura showed great poise as they left the field with an early 3-1 advantage. Two more penalty goals were registered by Carlos Gracida in the second chukker, with Audi 8-goaler Nic Roldan scoring a single goal. La Herradura extended its lead to three goals, 5-2. La Herradura continued to stymie the Audi attack into the third period of the game. Defensive backhanders and aggressive ride-offs kept the younger team from scoring. Roldan managed to convert a 60-ayrd penalty shot, but it was sandwiched between two more goals from the field from Carlos Gracida. At the end of the first half, La Herradura held a four goal, 7-3 lead over a struggling Audi attack.

Carlos Gracida opened the second half with a goal from the field as La Herradura extended its lead over Audi to five goals, 8-3, but that was when Audi seemed to come alive. A quicker, more resilient Audi took the field in the fourth chukker. Carlos Gracida scored the first goal if the chukker from the opening throw-in, but Carlitos Gracida and Roldan responded with goals of their own (Roldan converted a penalty shot for a goal). La Herradura continued to lead, but Audi was within striking distance, trailing 8-5 as the chukker ended. Afoul by La Herradura in the opening seconds of the fifth period sent Roldan to the penalty line once again, where he converted the shot for a goal. Less than a minute later Roldan added a goal from the field. Carlos Gracida closed out the chukker with a 60-yard penalty conversion. La Herradura held the lead at 9-7 with Audi getting stronger as the game wore on.

With the Audi attack ramping up, La Herradura made mistakes, and Roldan took advantage of them. Two penalty conversions from Roldan in the opening two minutes of the final chukker had it all even at nine goals apiece. The game continued to pick up speed as the younger Audi team pressed their veteran opponents. With two minutes left in regulation time, Roldan scored the go ahead goal, giving Audi its first lead of the game. La Herradura struggled to gain control of the ball in the final minute of play, but it was not to be. Roldan drove the ball into the sideboards in the final seconds of the chukker to end the game and deliver the 10-9 victory to Audi. Nic Roldan was credited with eight goals for Audi, five on penalty shots. Carlitos Gracida added two goals in the win. Carlos Gracida scored eight goals for La Herradura, five on penalty conversions. Memo Gracida added a goal in the loss.

COCA-COLA 14, ORCHARD HILL 13 IN OVERTIME
In earlier action, Coca-Cola trailed by as many as four goals after the second period before rallying for an exciting overtime win in the third round of play in the 2013 Joe Barry Memorial Cup. Lucas scored the first two goals of the game for Orchard Hill while the Coca-Cola offense was shut down in the opening chukker. The early advantage went to Orchard Hill, 2-0. Second chukker play opened with a Penalty 1 due to rough riding in the goal mouth. Orchard Hill was awarded a goal and led, 3-0. Criado added another goal to the Orchard Hill total before Coca-Cola was heard from. A single goal from Tommy Collingwood got Coke on the scoreboard, with Criado closing out the scoring with his fourth goal of the game for a comfortable 5-1 lead.

Coca-Cola team captain Gillian Johnston got the third chukker off to a good start for her team by scoring two goals from the field, cutting the Orchard Hill lead to two goals. Once again, Criado scored the final goal of the chukker to move Orchard Hill ahead, 6-3 to end the first half. A pressing Coca-Cola attack forced Orchard Hill into fouls early in the fourth period of the game. Julio Arellano made good on a pair of penalty shots for goals in the first two minutes of the chukker, cutting the Orchard Hill lead to a single goal, 6-5. Orchard Hill bounced back to score three straight goals to extend its lead to four goals, 9-5, with Criado scoring for the sixth time and Jeff Hall converting a pair of penalty shots for goals. A penalty goal from Arellano in the final two minutes of the period was complimented by a goal from Collingwood. The chukker ended with Orchard Hill defending a two goal lead, 9-7.

Goals from Arellano and Sugar Erskine opened the fifth period for Coca-Cola, tying the game for the first time all day, 9-9. Hall and Mason Wroe countered with single goals to regain a two goal lead, 11-9. Arellano and Hall exchanged single goals to end the chukker with Orchard Hill on top, 12-10. Coca-Cola took control of the game in the sixth, picking up a penalty goal from Arellano and single goals from the field from Erskine and Collingwood. Orchard Hill managed a single goal from Criado, ending regulation time in a 13-13 deadlock and requiring a sudden-death overtime period to decide the outcome.

After a brief intermission both teams returned to the field on fresh mounts. Early fortune had Orchard Hill knocking on the door of the Coca-Cola goal, but deft defensive plays turned the efforts aside. Coca-Cola had their chances as well, but no luck. A final run down the field in the final minute of the overtime period found Arellano alone with the ball, scoring the winning goal with 18 seconds in regulation time. Coca-Cola (1-2) had managed to fight its way back from an early deficit to post the 14-13 sudden-death win over a disheartened Orchard Hill (1-2) foursome. Julio Arellano scored seven goals for Coca-Cola on the day, four on penalty shots. Tommy Collingwood, Sugar Erskine and team captain Gillian Johnston scored two goals apiece for the win. Lucas Criado was credited with seven goals for Orchard Hill. Jeff Hall scored four times, twice on penalty shots and Mason Wroe added a goal from the field. A Penalty 1 against Coca-Cola in the second chukker resulted in Orchard Hill being awarded a penalty goal.

CRAB ORCHARD 12, GOOSE CREEK 6
The veteran combination of 9-goaler Mariano Aguerre and 8-goaler Matias Magrini worked some magic Saturday afternoon in the Joe Barry Memorial Cup at the International Polo Club as they charged out to a commanding 7-1 halftime before coasting to a 12-6 win over the previously unbeaten Goose Creek lineup. Magrini scored twice in the opening chukker with Aguerre adding a goal for the early 3-0 lead. A pair of goals from University of Virginia senior Felipe Viana in the second chukker extended the Crab orchard lead as Goose Creek struggled to stage any coordinated offense. After two chukkers of play, Crab orchard led, 5-0. Aguerre and Viana added single goals in the third chukker to put Crab Orchard ahead 7-0 before Goose Creek finally got on the scoreboard. A Crab Orchard foul sent Goose Creek’s Kris Kampsen to the penalty line where he converted the shot for their first goal of the game. The first half ended with Crab orchard sitting atop an impressive 7-1 score.

Second half play was no kinder to Goose Creek as they watched Crab orchard score three consecutive goals while they were unable to find their offense again. For the third chukker in four, Goose Creek was held scoreless and Crab Orchard rode off with a nine goal, 10-1 advantage. Kampsen scored the first goal of the fifth, but goals from Aguerre and Magrini canceled it out. The Crab orchard lead had grown to ten goals, 12-2 as the chukker ended. Goose Creek tried desperately to get back into the game in the final chukker. Maureen Brennan and Kampsen scored single goals that went unanswered, and Luis Escobar converted a penalty shot and added a goal from the field. For the first time all afternoon, Crab Orchard (2-1) failed to score, but it was Goose Creek (2-1) that came up on the short end of the 12-6 score.

Kris Kampsen led the Goose Creek attack with seven goals, three on penalty shots. Both of Tommy Biddle’s goals came on penalty conversions and Luis Escobar added a goal in the win. Paco de Narvaez set the pace for ERG with five goals. Jeff Blake was credited with three goals and Wesley Bryan (substituting for an injured Scott Wood at the end of the fourth chukker) added a goal in the loss.