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20-goal USPA America Cup final set


USPA America Cup set: ERG vs. FMB

By Alex Webbe

In a game that would decide who would meet ERG (2-0) in the final of the 2014 Nespresso USPA America Cup at the Santa Barbara Polo Club, Farmers and Merchants Bank (Danny Walker, Inaki Laprida, Lucas Criado and Henry Walker) dealt Lucchese (John Muse, Tommy Collingwood, Sapo Caset and Jeff Hall) a 12-11 loss. The win boosted the FMB record to 2-1 while Lucchese fell to 1-2.

FMB jumped all over Lucchese in the opening chukker, receiving one goal by handicap and adding four more goals to their total for a heady 5-1 lead. Lucas Criado scored the first goal of the match for FMB by converting a 60-yard penalty shot, 2-0. Dan Walker made it 3-0 on a goal from the field. Seven-goaler Jeff Hall finally got Lucchese on the scoreboard with a nicely placed ball for their only goal of the chukker, 3-1. Dan Walker and Inaki Laprida scored the final two goals of the chukker for FMB, 5-1.

Lucchese’s Sapo Caset opened the second with a pair of penalty goals, cutting the FMB lead to two goals, 5-3. Criado and Caset traded penalty goals for a 6-4 score with Dan Walker’s second goal of the chukker putting FMB ahead, 7-4.

Laprida’s third chukker goal from the field stretched the FMB lead to four goals, 8-4. Caset answered back by converting two 30-yard penalty shots to end the first half trailing by just two goals, 8-6.

Criado opened the fourth with a 30-yard penalty conversion, and added another from the field, 10-6. Caset closed out the chukker with a goal from the field, 10-7.

A determined Lucchese team took the field in the fifth and scored three straight goals (all from Caset on penalty conversions), tying the score at 10-10. Laprida kept his team from getting shutout and took back the lead, 11-10, with his third goal of the day. Lucchese was within a goal of the lead, 11-10.

Tommy Collingwood leveled the score again, 11-11, with his first goal of the game, but FMB refused to quit. A final goal from Laprida gave the game to FMB, 12-11, and earned the team a trip to Sunday’s final against Scott Wood’s ERG lineup (Scott Wood, Remy Muller, Sebastian Merlos and Agustin Merlos).


Earlier in the day, ERG scored an impressive 16-10 win over Film Finance (Leigh Breechen, Joseph Stuart, Paco de Narvaez and Santi Chavanne) in what could only be described as a warm-up for Sunday’s meeting with FMB.

ERG entered the match with a perfect 2-0 record, and did nothing to demean their achievement as their Ace 9-goaler Agustin Merlos scored fourteen times in the match.

Agustin Merlos scored all seven of his team’s goals in the opening half of play with Paco de Narvaez scoring five times for Film Finance. Film Finance trailed by a mere two goals, 7-5, at the end of the first half of play.

The two teams traded goals in the fourth chukker, with Agustin Merlos scoring three times for ERG. Film Finance got single goals from Leigh Breechen, Joseph Stuart and de Narvaez. At the end of the period, ERG continued to lead by two goals, 10-8.

ERG added four more goals in the fifth with Agustin Merlos scoring twice form the field and once on a 30-yard penalty shot. Teammate Remy Muller added a goal, expanding the ERG lead to five goals, 14-9. Stuart scored once from the field for Film Finance.

De Narvaez scored on a penalty shot in the opening minutes of the final chukker, cutting the lead to four goals, 14-10, but that was it. Agustin Merlos and his brother Sebastian Merlos scored the last two goals of the game for a 16-10 win.