White Birch, Pony Express and Zacara Win Spots in Quarterfinals of US Open
By Alex Webbe
Lucas Monteverde scored four goals in the first chukker (two on penalty shots and two from the field) to a pair of goals from Isla Carrollâ€™s 10-goaler, Facundo Pieres, to set the pace for the game.
The teams battled back and forth with White Birch taking a 7-6 edge at the end of the first half of play.
Monteverde converted two penalty shots in the fourth chukker that were answered by goals from Pieres and Isla Carroll team captain John Goodman, and the chukker ended with White Birch on top of a 9-8 score.
Martin Aguerre and Monteverde scored single goals in the fifth period, but two penalty goals from Pieres and a goal from Magoo Laprida knotted it up at 11-11.
Pieres gave Isla Carroll a brief one goal lead, 12-11 in the opening minute of the sixth chukker before two goals from Monteverde gave the lead back to White Birch, 13-12. Marcos di Paola tied it at 13-13, but a goal from White Birch 10-goaler Mariano Aguerre gave the lead back to White Birch, 14-13. Pieresâ€™s tenth goal of the game for Isla Carroll tied it again at 14-14, and just when it looked as if the game would be going into extra chukkers, Martin Donovan, playing in place of White Birch team captain Peter Brant, scored the winning goal.
The win propels White Birch into the quarters and drops Isla Carroll out of the Open and into the consolation Hall of Fame Cup competition.
Monteverde led all scorers with 11 goals. Teammates Martin Aguerre and Mariano Aguerre scored two goals apiece.
Isla Carrollâ€™s Gonzalito Pieres scored 10 goals. Laprida scored twice and di Paola and Goodman accounted for single goals in the loss.
PONY EXPRESS 10, BLACK WATCH 9
In an earlier Open contest, Pelon Sterling had a breakout day for Pony Express, scoring five goals in a 10-9 victory over a determined Black Watch team.
Displaying the hit and dash style of play that made Sterling a favorite in last yearâ€™s Open play, he scored half of the teamâ€™s six first half goals as they took an early 6-3 lead over a struggling Black Watch foursome.
Nick Roldan supplied three more first half goals for Pony Express, as Matias MacDonough was the only Black Watch player to score in the first three chukkers, scoring once from the field and converting two penalty shots.
Ten-goaler Matias Magrini made it 7-3 in the fourth chukker on a penalty shot before goals from Pablo MacDonough and Nacho Figueras got Black Watch back in the game, although still trailing 7-5.
Black Watch cut the Pony Express to a single goal, 8-7, as Matias McDonough added two more goals in the fifth chukker while holding Pony Express to a single Roldan goal.
The final chukker belonged to Matias MacDonough and Pelon Sterling as each scored two goals for their respective teams with Pony Express escaping with a hard fought 10-9 win, and a berth in the quarterfinals.
Sterling scored five times for Pony Express, with Roldan adding four goals in the win and Magrini accounting for a goal.
Matias MacDonough led all scoring with seven goals for Black Watch. Nacho Figueras and Pablo MacDonough added single goals in a losing effort.
ZACARA 9, AUDI 8
In a back-and-forth game that was tied six times, a Carlos Gracida-led Zacara team downed a talented Audi effort that had the result of the game in doubt until the very end.
Zacaraâ€™s Mike Azzaro led the Zacara attack with four goals as it fought to take a 5-4 halftime lead over a resolute Audi defense.
While Azzaro and Pelon Escapite battled in the trenches for Zacara, the recent addition of Santiago Chavanne gave Audi a punch it had been lacking earlier in the season, and complimented the extraordinary talents of 9-goaler Gonzalito Pieres.
The teams were tied 7-7 at the end of the fourth chukker before Zacara made its move.
In the fifth chukker, the Zacara defense was able to turn aside several Audi offensive drives while patron Lyndon Lea and Escapite scored single goals for a 9-7 lead after five chukkers of play.
Chavanne scored the only goal of the sixth and final chukker, just missing on a shot that would have tied the game as time expired.
The one-goal loss may not keep Audi out of the quarterfinals, however, as the final determination rests on net goals scored. The final field of eight teams wonâ€™t be decided until the end of Wednesdayâ€™s 5pm match between Isla Carroll and White Birch. Following the end of Wednesdayâ€™s competition, a draw will be held on Thursday afternoon that will determine the pairings and schedule for the quarterfinals of the 2008 U. S. Open Championship.
Based on net goals, Audi and Black Watch will join Zacara, Pony Express and White Birch in quarterfinal play along with bracket winners Skeeterville, Las Monjitas and Crab Orchard. Following a Thursday draw, a schedule will be made available.
Twenty-six goal competition will continue on Friday in Hall of Fame Cup play with a 3pm match between Lechuza and Bendabout.