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,
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