Photos to follow.
By Alex Webbe
Lechuza Caracas (Victor Vargas, Nico Pieres, Juan Martin Nero and Nico Espain) led through the first four chukkers of the game against Crab Orchard (Peke Gonzalez, Magoo Laprida, Facundo Pieres and Paco de Narvaez) and held off a fifth chukker rally to score their first win of the 2014 Maserati US Open Championship Friday afternoon in an 11-9 win.
Lechuza Caracas took early control of the game with Nico Pieres converting a 60-yard penalty shot in the opening minute of the first chukker for the 1-0 lead. With three minutes left in the period Pieres scored his second on a driving 90-yard shot from the field with Facundo Pieres defending. At the end of the opening chukker Lechuza Caracas rode off the field with the 2-0 advantage.
Facundo Pieres scored a couple of goals in less than a minute in the second for a 2-2 tie. Juan Martin Nero responded with two goals of his own, 4-2. Facundo Pieres scored the final goal of the chukker to cut the Lechuza Caracas lead to a single goal, 4-3.
Long passes and long runs characterized the third period with Paco de Narvaez scoring twice in the first minute of play, giving Crab orchard their first lead of the game, 5-4. Nico Pieres closed out the first half with three consecutive goals (two on penalty shots) to give Lechuza Caracas a two goal, 7-5 advantage at the end of the first half.
A pressing Crab orchard attack in the fourth chukker saw Lechuza Caracas commit a couple of fouls that sent Facundo Pieres to the penalty line where he converted a pair of shots for goals, 7-7. Nero took the lead back for Lechuza Caracas, scoring with just 42 seconds on the clock. Lechuza Caracas continued to lead, 8-7.
The Crab orchard defense stepped it up in the fifth, shutting out the Lechuza Caracas attack while adding single goals from 14-yer-old Peke Gonzalez and Facundo Pieres. Gonzalez tied it, 7-7, and Facundo Pieres gave the lead back to Crab Orchard with his sixth goal of the game, 8-7.
A desperate Lechuza Caracas foursome took control of the game in the sixth. Nero tied it at 9-9 two minutes into the final chukker. He followed it up with another goal from the field at the 2:50 mark that gave the lead back to Lechuza Caracas, 10-9. With Crab Orchard pressing to score the tying goal, Nico Pieres sealed the game with his sixth goal of the match at 1:17, for the 11-9 victory.
Nico Pieres scored six times for Lechuza Caracas (three on penalty shots). Nero added five goals for the win. Facundo Pieres scored four of his team-high six goals from the field. De Narvaez added two goals and Peke Gonzalez added a goal in a losing effort.
Maserati US Open play continues on Saturday with a 4pm contest between Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, Santi Torres, Sapo Caset and Adolfo Cambiaso) and Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Santiago Chavanne, Pablo MacDonough and Matias MacDonough).