Photos to follow
Valiente downs Crab Orchard 11-10
By Alex Webbe
Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, Santi Torres, Sapo Caset and Adolfo Cambiaso) controlled the first five chukkers of their USPA Piaget Gold Cup match against Crab Orchard (George Rawlings, Facundo Pieres, Magoo Laprida and Matias Magrini) Wednesday afternoon at the International Polo Club but needed a penalty goal from Sapo Caset in the final two minutes to secure the 11-10 win.
Sapo Caset scored the first goal of the game on a penalty shot less than 90 seconds into play. Teammate Adolfo Cambiaso made it 2-0 with the only other goal of the chukker at the 4:28 mark with Crab Orchard unable to get on the scoreboard for the duration of the chukker.
Second period play saw Cambiaso and Crab Orchard’s exchange single goals. Cambiaso scored midway through the period for a 3-0 Valiente advantage with Facundo Pieres splitting the Valiente goalposts with a shot from the field with just 29 seconds on the clock. Valiente continued to lead, 3-1.
Santi Torres opened the third chukker with a goal from the field, 4-1, followed by a pair of penalty goals from Pieres, 4-3. Caset converted another penalty shot for a goal and Torres added another goal from the field with just 5 seconds left in the chukker. At the end of the first half Valiente held a respectable 6-3 lead.
Pieres and Caset swapped goals in the fourth period with each scoring one from the field and one on a penalty conversion. After four chukkers of play, Valiente maintained their three goals lead, 8-5.
Caset opened the fifth chukker with a goal from the field just 19 seconds into play, 9-5. Cambiaso stretched the Valiente lead to five goals, 10-5, less than a minute later. Pieres staged a mini rally in the closing minutes of the period with a goal from the field at 3:13 followed by a penalty conversion at 1:14. Valiente continued to hold the three goal advantage, 10-7, with one chukker left to play.
Crab Orchard wasted little time chasing the leader. Three consecutive goals from Facundo Pieres rocked the Valiente defense as they found themselves all even at 10-10 with 3:47 left in regulation time. The Valiente attack pressed, causing a Crab Orchard foul at the 2:06 mark that sent Caset to the penalty line where he converted the 30-yard shot for the win, 11-10.
Caset was credited with six goals for Valiente (four on penalty conversions). Cambiaso scored three times and Torres added two goals in the victory. Pieres scored all ten of Crab Orchard’s goals, with four of them coming on penalty shots.
The win evened the Valiente record at 1-1 while it was the second loss for Crab Orchard, 0-2, against no wins.
LECHUZA CARACAS 14, COCA-COLA 11
In the second Piaget Gold Cup match of the day, Lechuza Caracas (Victor Vargas, Nico Pieres, Juan Martin Nero and Nico Espain) recorded a demonstrative 14-11 win over Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Sebastian Merlos, Julio Arellano and Facundo Obregon) with Nico Pieres leading the way with six goals.
A conservative start to the match had Nico Pieres and Facundo Obregon trading penalty goals for a 1-1 beginning. Pieres scored first, just over a minted into the opening chukker (6:24). Obregon scored on a penalty shot of his own three minutes later (3:21) for the 1-1 tie.
Lechuza Caracas exploded for four goals in the second chukker while limiting the Coca-Cola offense to a single goal from team captain Gillian Johnston. Lechuza Caracas recorded single goals from Juan Martin Nero and Pieres (penalty goal) with Nico Espain scoring twice form the field for the 5-2 edge.
Nero added two penalty goals to the Lechuza Caracas total in the third. American 9-galer Julio Arellano scored his first goal of the day from the field with Obregon ending the chukker with a goal at the 2:07 point. At the end of the first half of play, Lechuza Caracas sat astride a 7-4 lead.
Pieres converted a 40-yard penalty shot to open the second half, 8-4, but Coca-Cola fired right back. A pair of penalty goals by Obregon closed out the chukker with Coca-Cola trailing by just two goals, 8-6.
Obregon opened the scoring in the fifth chukker in style, converting a 150 yard penalty shot, cutting the Lechuza Caracas lead to a single goal, 8-7. Pieres scored his fourth goal of the game to put Lechuza Caracas up by two goals, 9-7, but Johnston responded with a goal for Coca-Cola to cut the lead back to one, 9-8. A penalty by Coca-Cola in their goal mouth had the officials awarding Lechuza Caracas a goal, 10-8, and throwing the ball in ten yards from the Coca-Cola goal. The ensuing throw-in resulted in another Lechuza Caracas goal by Nero for a chukker-ending 11-8 advantage.
Coca-Cola scored the opening goal of the final chukker with Sebastian Merlos scoring from the field, 11-9. Nero and Obregon exchanged goals for a 12-10. A pair of goals from Pieres (one on a penalty conversion) had Lechuza Caracas in front by four goals, 14-10, with Merlos scoring the final goal of the game in a 14-11 Lechuza Caracas victory.
Pieres scored four of his six goals on penalty shots. Nero added five goals (two on penalty conversions), and Espain scored twice. The team also received one goal on a penalty. Obregon scored six times for Coca-Cola (four on penalty shots). Johnston and Merlos scored two goals each and Arellano was held to a single goal in the loss.
Gold Cup action is scheduled to continue on Thursday with a 10am game between Audi (Marc Ganzi, Gonzalito Pieres, Rodrigo Andrade and Gonzalo Del Tour) and Flight Options (Eduardo Astrada, Miguel Astrada and Alejandro Astrada) followed by a 1pm meeting of Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Santiago Chavanne, Pablo MacDonough and Matias MacDonough) and Alegria (Julian Mannix, Clemente Zavaleta, Mariano Aguerre and Hilario Ulloa).