Mansour, the only undefeated team in America Cup play
By Alex Webbe
The Santa Barbara Polo Club hosted three games in the highly competitive USPA
Lucchese America Cup Sunday with Mansour (Ben Soleimani, Hilario Ulloa, Adam
Snow, Santi Von Wernich) edging La Herradura (Alvaro Fernandez, Marianito Obregon,
Memo Gracida and Carlos Gracida) 11-10; ERG (Scott Wood, Sugar Erskine, Jeff
Blake and Paco de Narvaez) slipping past Merchant Hub (Matias Bullrich, Michel
Dorignac, Tavi Usandizaga and Luis Escobar), 11-9; and Lucchese (Andres Weisz, Tavi
Usandizaga, Pelon Stirling and John Muse) overtaking FMB (Dan Walker, Inaki Laprida,
Lucas Criado and Henry Walker) 11-9 with a last chukker rally.
Hilario Ulloa and Adam Snow (penalty shot) scored the first two goals of the game.
Early fouls allowed La Herradura to stay in it with penalty goals from both Carlos
Gracida and Marianito Obregon. The first chukker ended in a 2-2 tie.
Both defenses tightened in the second. Hilario Ulloa broke through for the only goal of
the chukker, giving Mansour a 3-2 advantage.
Ulloa and Santi Von Wernich scored consecutive goals to open the third chukker, 5-2.
Memo Gracida scored his first goal of the game, 5-3. Von Wernich and Carlos Gracida
exchanged goals to end the first half with Mansour in the lead, 6-4.
Carlos Gracida cut the lead to a single goal, 6-5 in the fourth chukker. Mansour
responded with three straight goals (two from Von Wernich and one from Ulloa) to
extend their lead to four goals, 9-5.
Carlos Gracida converted a 40-yard penalty shot and Obregon scored once from the
field while Mansour was held to a single goal from Von Wernich, but time was running
out. At the end of five chukkers of play, La Herradura trailed by three goals, 10-7.
Obregon scored the first goal of the final chukker on a 60-yard penalty conversion
and Carlos Gracida added two more goals from the field that tied it up at 10-10. La
Herradura, a loser by one goal in their opening match fell victim to a late game goal
from Snow as Mansour recorded their second win.
Von Wernich led the Mansour offense with five goals, Ulloa scored four times and Snow
added two goals in the win. Carlos Gracida led all scoring with six goals. Obregon was
credited with three goals and Memo Gracida scored once in a losing effort.
ERG 11, MERCHANT HUB 9
ERG (1-1) rebounded from their opening overtime loss to FMB by scoring an 11-9 win
over previously unbeaten Merchant Hub (1-1).
Merchant Hub took the early lead with goals from the field from Matias Bullrich and
Michel Dorignac, 2-0. ERG responded with three straight goals (two goals from Jeff
Blake and a single goal from Sugar Erskine to end the chukker in the lead, 3-2.
The two teams exchanged goals in the second period with Blake and Escobar scoring
on penalty conversions for their respective teams while Michael Dorignac and Paco de
Narvaez each added a goal from the field. ERG maintained the one goal lead, 5-4.
A pair of 60-yard penalty conversions from de Narvaez moved ERG in front by three
goals, 7-4, but Merchant Hub roared back. Dorignac scored on a 30-yard penalty shot
and Toto Collardin added two goals for a 7-7 tie. Erskine broke the tie with the final
goal of the chukker and ERG left the field with an 8-7 advantage.
The ERG defense took control of the game in the fourth and fifth chukkers as they
smothered the Merchant Hub attack. Single goals from Blake and de Narvaez in the
fourth had ERG on top, 10-7, and a single goal from Erskine in the fifth had Merchant
Hub down by four goals, 11-7 with one chukker left in the game.
Dorignac scored the last two goals of the game (one on a penalty shot) as ERG was
content to record the 11-9 win.
Blake and de Narvaez scored four goals apiece for ERG. Erskine added three for the
victory. Dorignac led Merchant Hub with five goals. Collardin added two goals and
Escobar and Bullrich each scored a goal.
LUCCHESE 11, FMB 9
Without their regular lineup, Lucchese lost their opening game by a single goal, 9-8, but
took the field on Sunday behind recent arrival, 10-goaler Pelon Stirling and team captain
John Muse as they got back on the winning track.
In a tentative opening chukker, FMB’s Inaki Laprida scored the only goal as the players
probed one another’s defenses. FMB held a fragile 1-0 lead after the first seven
minutes of play.
Both offenses got on track in the second period, and Lucchese started to settle into
its new lineup. Stirling made his worth know from the onset, scoring four times in the
second (once on a 40-yard penalty shot). Laprida added two more goals and Lucas
Criado scored once. After two chukkers the teams were all even at 4-4.
The parity of the teams was once again reflected in their play. Stirling and Tavi
Usandizaga converted penalty shots for Lucchese. Laprida added his fourth goal of the
game and Criado scored on a 60-yard penalty shot. At the end of the first half the score
was deadlocked at 6-6.
There was no scoring from the field in the fourth period with defense being the keynote.
Laprida and Stirling exchanged penalty conversions, and the score remained tied, 7-
7.Criado finally gave FMB some separation in the fifth with the first two goals of the
chukker. Stirling closed out the scoring, bringing Lucchese to within a goal of the lead,
Stirling continued to lead the Lucchese attack into the final chukker, forcing fouls by
FMB, and converting successive penalty shots for the tying and then the go-ahead
score. Usandizaga scored the final goal of the game for the 11-9 win as EMB was
unable to coordinate any effective attack in the final minutes of the game.
Stirling led the field with nine goals (five on penalty shots). Usandizaga scored twice in
the win. Laprida led FMB with five goals. Criado scored four times (twice on penalty
shots) in the loss.
Continuing play in the USPA Lucchese America Cup is scheduled to continue on
Friday, July 26 with three matches. Mansour will play ERG at 10AM at Piocho Ranch;
Merchant Hub is slated to meet Lucchese at Santa Barbara Polo Club at 2PM. FMB
and ERG will face one another on the ERG field at 5PM.
Paco de Narvaez) slipped past Merchant Hub (Matias Bullrich, Michel Dorignac, Toto
Collardin and Luis Escobar) 11-9; and Lucchese (Andres Weisz, Tavi Usandizaga,
Peon Stirling and John Muse) evened its record by beating FMB (Dan Walker, Inaki
Laprida, Lucas Criado and Henry Walker).
In the opening game of day Mansour (2-0) scored its second win of the tournament with
a one goal win over La Herradura (0-2) despite a late game rally that tied it up in the