2008 US Open Begins
By Alex Webbe
In a real nail-bitter, Skeetervilleâ€™s 9-goaler, Adam Snow, converted a 60-yard penalty shot as time expired to score an opening 11-10 win over a talented Zacara team in the opening round of the US Open Championships at the International Polo Club in Wellington.
Heavy but brief rainfall set the stage for the Skeeterville team who had just lost in the finals of the USPA Piaget Gold Cup four days earlier and a revamped Zacara team that replaced a hard-hitting Tommy Biddle with a more offensive Pelon Escapite.
Skeeterville show early promise as it capitalized on two goals apiece from Julio Arellano and Owen Rinehart and a single goal from the field by Adam Snow to establish a 5-4 halftime lead, but Zacara wasnâ€™t ready to roll over yet.
Two goals from Carlos Gracida and a goal from teammate Mike Azzaro tied the game at 7-7 after the fourth chukker Skeeterville being limited to two goals from Arellano.
A penalty conversion from Gracida and a goal from Escapite gave Zacara a 9-8 lead after the fifth chukker, with Skeeterville being held to a single Will Johnston goal in the period.
Snow converted a penalty shot to knot it at 9-9 in the final chukker before Escapiteâ€™s third goal of the game gave Zacara a 10-9 advantage. Arellano scored from the field to tie it up again at 10-10, with time running down.
With both teams battling for the ball at midfield, the umpireâ€™s whistle blew, and with five seconds on the clock, a sixty-yard penalty shot was awarded to Skeeterville.
With one, quick, deliberate stroke, Adam Snow put the ball through the goal posts as time expired for the win.
In earlier US Open action, Isla Carroll scored a 13-9 win over Bendabout in a match that was highlighted by eight electrifying goals from 10-goaler Facundo Pieres for the win.
Isla scored early and often as it raced out to an early 3-0 lead. Three third period goals from Pieres and two more from Marcos di Paola made it 9-5 by the half, and things didnâ€™t improve for Bendabout after that.
Slashing drives, quick turns and classic ball control characterized the Isla Carroll attack that had Magoo Laprida and di Paola scoring two goals apiece as they supported and assisted the outstanding play of Pieres.
â€œThe team went well,â€ said team captain Goodman, who while nursing a pulled riding muscle still managed to play an effective Back for the team.
On the other hand, the Bendabout team seemed to lack any sense of urgency as it found itself trailing 12-5 going into the final chukker.
After Pieres scored his eighth goal of the game, Gillian Johnston managed to score a goal for Bendabout followed by a score from Mariano Gonzales in the 13-9 loss to Isla Carroll.
US Open competition will continue on Tuesday with a noon match between Black Watch and Audi followed by a 3pm showdown between Orchard Hill and the 2007 defending champion, Crab Orchard.