Wins by FMB, ERG and Restoration Hardware kick off Pacific Coast Open
By Alex Webbe
An energized FMB polo team (Dan Walker, Inaki Laprida, Lucas Criado and Henry Walker) charged into the opening chukker of the first game of the 2013 Bombardier Pacific Coast Open Sunday morning, scoring five consecutive goals as they rolled to a 5-1 lead over a shell-shocked Catamount lineup (Scott Devon, Brandon Phillips, Julio Gracida and Mike Azzaro) on their way to a 12-9 win.
Dan Walker scored the first goal of the game followed by four straight goals from Lucas Criado. Catamount’s Mike Azzaro kept his team from getting blanked with a closing goal, but trailed 5-1.
Criado added two more goals in the second period as he scored another goal from the field and converted a 60-yard penalty shot (Safety) for a six goal, 7-1 lead. Brandon Phillips scored the final goal of the chukker, but Catamount fell behind by five goals, 7-2.
Julio Gracida scored his first goal of the game for Catamount to open the third chukker on a 30-yard penalty shot, 7-3, but missed penalty shots (two 60-yard attempts and one 40-yard attempt) missed their mark in the course of the period. Goals from Dan Walker and Henry Walker ended the first half of play with FMB in front by six goals, 9-3.
The Catamount defense finally showed up in the fourth period, but there was no offensive support. A single 30-yard penalty conversion from Phillips went unanswered (Catamount missed another 60-yard penalty attempt). FMB continued to hold a commanding 9-4 advantage.
Inaki Laprida scored two goals for FMB to open the fifth, 11-4. Catamount responded with a pair of goals from Phillips (one goal from the field and a 30-yard penalty conversion) and a goal from the field from Azzaro. Catamount missed another 60-yard penalty shot as they continued to trail, 11-7.
Another missed 60-yard penalty attempt was followed by a 60-yard conversion from Gracida, 11-8. Dan Walker and Azzaro exchanged goals to end the game with FMB riding off with the 12-9 victory.
Criado led all scoring with six goals-all of them scored in the opening two chukkers of the game. Dan Walker scored three times; Laprida twice and Henry Walker once. Phillips led the Catamount attack with four goals (two on penalty shots). Azzaro was credited with three goals and Gracida scored twice on penalty conversions.
ERG 11, LUCCHESE 10 OT
ERG (Scott Wood, Sugar Erskine, Jeff Blake and Paco De Narvaez) handed the 2012 Pacific Coast Open defending championship Lucchese team (Andres Weisz, Tavi Usandizaga, Pelon Stirling and John Muse) an 11-10 opening loss in overtime as the parity of the field became more apparent with every game.
Lucchese 10-goaler Pelon Stirling converted a 40-yard penalty shot to account for the only scoring in the first chukker of play. ERG made runs at the Lucchese goal, but were unable to break through successfully. After the first seven minutes of play, Lucchese held a fragile 1-0 edge.
Two more second chukker goals from Stirling (one on a penalty conversion) were countered by three ERG goals. Paco Narvaez scored once from the field and once on a 60-yard penalty shot. Sugar Erskine added a 40-yard penalty goal for a 3-3 tie.
Erskine replicated his second chukker performance in the third adding a goal from the field and a penalty goal, 5-3. Lucchese answered back with three goals of their own. Tavi Usandizaga scored twice (once on a 30-yard penalty shot) with Stirling adding his fourth of the day. At the end of the first half, Lucchese found themselves defending a 6-5 lead.
Erskine tied it up at 6-6 on a penalty goal to open the second half, 6-6. Usandizaga put Lucchese back in front, 7-6, with third score of the afternoon. Andres Weisz closed out the chukker with a goal for an 8-6 Lucchese advantage.
Stirling opened the fifth chukker with a goal from the field that had Lucchese in front by three goals, 9-6. Erskine responded for ERG scoring the last two goals of the chukker (ne on a penalty conversion). Lucchese continued to lead, but the margin had been shaved to a single goal, 9-8.
Erskine tied it up, 9-9, with a 40-yard penalty shot and then put ERG in the lead, 10-9, with a goal from the field. Weisz kept the Lucchese hopes alive with his second goal of the day to tie it up at 10-10 and force sudden-death overtime.
It was de Narvaez who scored the winning goal in overtime, only his third of the game, as ERG celebrated the 11-10 win.
Erskine’s seven goals set the pace for the game. De Narvaez scored three times, including the game winner, and team captain Scott Woods added a penalty goal for the victory.
RESTORATION HARDWARE 11, LA HERRADURA 10
The final Bombardier Pacific Coast Open match of the day saw La Herradura (Alvaro Fernandez, Marianito Obregon, Memo Gracida, Carlos Gracida) squander an 8-5 lead after the fourth chukker as Restoration Hardware (Ben Soleimani, Hilario Ulloa, Adam Snow and Santi Von Wernich) rallied for the 11-10 win.
Restoration Hardware got opening chukker goals from Adam Snow and Hilario Ulloa for a 2-0 lead before La Herradura’s Carlos Gracida and Marianito Obregon scored single goals to tie it up at 2-2.
Restoration Hardware edged their way into the lead with single goals from team captain Ben Soleimani and Snow, 4-2. Obregon converted a short penalty shot to keep La Herradura in the hunt as they fell behind, 4-3. Ulloa scored on a penalty shot in the third for a 5-3 lead, but La Herradura fought back. Goals from Carlos Gracida (penalty conversion) and Obregon had it all even at the end of the first three chukkers of play, 5-5.
Carlos Gracida’s third goal of the afternoon was followed by a pair of goals from Obregon. Restoration Hardware was held scoreless and found themselves trailing by three goals, 8-5.
Ulloa converted consecutive penalty goals to cut the lead to a single goal, 8-7 in the fifth. Carlos Gracida added a goal from the field, 9-7, but Snow kept Restoration Hardware close with his second goal of the game, 9-8.
Snow tied it up at 9-9 with the first goal of the final chukker. Carlos Gracida scored the go-ahead goal, 10-9, but consecutive goals from Ulloa and Snow ended the game in an 11-10 Restoration Hardware victory.
Snow and Ulloa scored five goals apiece for Restoration Hardware. Soleimani added a single goal in the win. Obregon and Carlos Gracida each scored five times for a La Herradura team that came up just one goal short in the loss.
Pacific Coast Open play will continue with three games slated to be played on Thursday, August 22. Restoration Hardware (1-0) will face Lucchese (0-1) at 10AM at Piocho Ranch followed by a 2PM contest between Catamount (0-1) and ERG (1-0) at ERG. FMB (1-0) is scheduled to meet La Herradura (0-1) at 4PM on Santa Barbara Field 3.