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Santa Clara Polo Club

Nico Escobar leads Santa Clara to 8-7 win

By Whitney Webbe

Santa Clara (Nico Escobar, Ruben Gracida, Max Secunda and Federico Escobar) broke

a 5-5 tie with three sixth chukker goals for a hotly-contested 8-7 win over a determined

Merchant Hub lineup (Kaisser Maakar, Wesley Finlayson, Luis Escobar and Richard

Dudman) in the Santa Clara Polo Club’s 8-goal Warm-up Weekend Cup.

Santa Clara received one goal by handicap from the 9-goal Merchant Hub foursome

and quickly added to it. Single goals from Federico Escobar and Nico Escobar had

Santa Clara on top, 3-0, after the first chukker.

Merchant Hub fired back in the second, picking up goals from Wes Finlayson and

Richard Dudman. The Merchant Hub defense shut down the Santa Clara attack and

cut the lead to a single goal, 3-2.

Runs up and down the field in the third period by both teams were fruitless as defense

was the order of the day. The first half ended with Santa Clara holding on to their 3-2,

one goal advantage.

Merchant Hub took control of the game in fourth chukker play. Dudman scored twice,

once on a 40-yard penalty shot and once from the field. The Santa Clara attack stalled

out for the third consecutive chukker as Merchant Hub took their first lead of the game,

4-3.

Fifth chukker goals from Nico Escobar and Ruben Gracida pushed Santa Clara back

into the lead, 5-4. Luis Escobar closed out the chukker with his first score of the game

for a 5-5 deadlock.

Nico Escobar scored the opening two goals of the final chukker with a 40 yard penalty

shot for a goal and a beautifully executed neck shot for a goal from the field. Merchant

Hub responded with goals from Luis Escobar and Dudman for a 7-7 tie. Nico Escobar

put Santa Clara back into the lead, 8-7, with a minute left in regulation play. Merchant

made a last run at the Santa Clara goal with a long shot by Finlayson coming up just

short as time expired.

Thirteen-year-old Nico Escobar led all scoring with five goals (one on a penalty shot),

and was named MVP for his efforts. Federico Escobar and Gracida added singe goals

and the team received one goal by handicap. Dudman scored four times for Merchant

Hub. Luis Escobar added two and Finlayson scored once in the loss.

Santa Clara’s Negra was named Best Playing Pony. Negra was played by Kaisser

Maakar.