Semifinals Set in 2010 Bombardier Pacific Coast Open
By Alex Webbe
Following a full day of polo, the semifinals of the 2010 Bombardier Pacific Coast Open were determined in a series of hotly contested games at the Santa Barbara Polo Club on Sunday.
In morning action, Grants Farm (2-1) earned a semifinal berth when it knocked Mansour (1-2) out of contention with a 13-9 win. In the other morning game, Lucchese (3-0) gilded its position in Thursdayâ€™s semifinal round when it finished early rounds of play by downing winless Audi, 12-9.
In afternoon competition, ERG (3-0) knocked Valiente out any semifinal possibilities with a hard-earned 13-12 victory over a talented Valiente (1-2) lineup, and Zacara (1-2) braved a one-goal loss to Piocho (1-2) managing to eke its way into the semifinals on net goals.
In one of the opening matches of the day, ten-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso continued to wow the crowds by scoring nine goals in the Lucchese 12-9 win over Audi (0-3), easily its third playoff position.
LUCCHESE 12, AUDI 9
Lucchese took an early 3-0 lead with first chukker goals from Jason Crowder, Andres Weisz and Cambiaso while shutting out the Audi offense. The Audi defense returned the favor in the second period, managing a single 40-yard penalty goal from Juan Bollini for a 3-1 score.
Goals from Crowder and Cambiaso in the third chukker had Lucchese up, 5-2 at halftime, holding Audi to another penalty goal from Bollini.
Cambiaso added three goals to the Lucchese total in the fourth chukker, with 10-goaler Lolo Castagnola scoring twice from the field for Audi. Lucchese extended its lead to four goals, 8-4, to end the period.
Audi got three goals in the fifth frame with goals from the field from Bollini and Escapite. Castagnola converted a 50-yard penalty shot for the third score. Cambiaso accounted for the only scoring from Lucchese in the chukker, holding on to a 9-7 lead with one chukker to play.
The final period saw Cambiaso and Castagnola trading goals, with Cambiaso coming out on top with three goals while holding Castagnola to a pair. Lucchese rode off with the 12-9 win in a contest that served as nothing more than a warm-up for the playoffs, as Lucchese had already sewn up its position and Audi was out of the running.
GRANTS FARM 13, MANSOUR 9
The second morning game had Mansour and Grants Farm riding onto the field with identical 1-1 records. Mansour had shown its mettle the previous week, allowing Lucchese to slip past them by a single goal while Grants Farm handed Audi a 13-9 defeat.
Mansour got off to a quick start with goals from Luis Escobar and Martin Zegers while keeping Grants Farm off of the scoreboard in the opening chukker.
The tables were turned in the second frame, however, as Grants farm shut down the Mansour offense and got goals from Andy Busch, Jeff Blake and Cachi Garcia-Velez. Grants Farm moved out to a 3-2 lead after two chukkers of play.
Zegers scored twice in the third, but two goals from Sugar Erskine and a pair from Garcia-Velez had Grants Farm on top, 7-4.
Escobar opened the scoring in the second half with a goal from the field, but Blake responded with a 60-yard penalty goal. Santiago Toccalino scored his first goal of the game for Mansour, but Grants Farm held on to the lead, 8-6.
Erskine scored twice in the fifth, stretching the Grants Farm lead to four goals, but a goal from Escobar and a penalty goal from Zegers cut the advantage to two goals as the chukker ended, 10-8.
Zegers cut the lead to a single goal, 10-9 on his fourth penalty conversion of the contest, but Garcia-Velez added two more goals and Buschâ€™s second goal of the game gave the 13-9 win to Grants Farm.
ERG 13, VALIENTE 12
Poor penalty shooting and a standout performance from ERGâ€™s Paco De Narvaez spelled the end of Valienteâ€™s run at the Pacific Coast Open title, in the ERG 13-12 win.
Kris Kampsen opened the scoring for Valiente, but De Narvaez answered with a pair of goals for ERG. Valiente missed two penalty shots from 60-yards out, and ERG led, 2-1.
Nacho Astrada tied it for Valiente with a goal in the second, but De Narvaez added his third goal of the game to keep ERG in front, 3-2. For the second straight chukker, Valiente failed to convert a 60-yard penalty shot.
Both offenses got on track in the third with De Narvaez scoring twice and Silvestre Donovan adding a goal for ERG. Astrada accounted for all three of Valienteâ€™s goals (two on penalty shots). ERG clung the one goal, 6-5 lead, to end the first half.
Goals from the field from De Narvaez and Donovan had ERG up 8-5 when Valiente staged a rally. Kampsen scored twice from the field and Astrada added a pair of penalty goals as the lead changed hands. The chukker ended with Valiente edging ERG, 9-8, but three more penalty shots were blown, allowing ERG to stay in the game.
Scott Wood tied it for ERG in the fifth, followed by a go-ahead goal from De Narvaez, but Valiente still had some life in it. Consecutive goals from Juan Carlos Harriet and Astrada put Valiente back on top, 11-9. Penalties crippled the Valiente effort, with De Narvaez converting three 60-yard penalty shots, and the chukker ended with ERG leading, 12-11.
De Narvaez scored his tenth goal of the game on a penalty shot in the sixth, and although Kampsen converted a penalty shot for a goal, Valiente also missed its seventh attempt f the day, falling to ERG 13-12.
PIOCHO 12, ZACARA 11
The final game of the day proved to be one of the most exciting of the day, as both Piocho and Zacara harbored chances of making it into Thursdayâ€™s semifinal play.
Julio Gracida scored the first Piocho goal of the game, but Zacara 8-goaler Jeff Hall tied it at 1-1 with a penalty goal.
Second chukker play was all Piocho, with Memo Gracida adding two goals and Carlos Gracida converting a penalty shot for a goal. The Zacara offense was held in check, and Piocho led 4-1 at the end of the period.
Zacara lit it up in the third chukker, with single goals from the field from team captain Lyndon Lea and Hilario Ulloa. Hall added two penalty goals, and Zacara led 5-4. Carlos Gracida evened it at 5-5 on a penalty conversion, and the first half ended in a 5-5 tie.
Goals from Julio and Carlos Gracida in the fourth had Piocho on top, 7-5, but Zacara pressed its attack. Hall took advantage of two penalties on Piocho, scoring a pair of penalty goals. The chukker ended in a 7-7 tie.
Due to the standings and net goals differentials, Piocho not only needed to win, but needed to beat Zacara by two goals, and the possibilities began to look good in the fifth period.
Two goals from Carlos Gracida and a single goal from Julio Gracida were countered by a pair of goals from Hall, and Piocho took a 10-9 lead going into the final chukker.
Hall tied it in the opening minutes of the sixth. Carlos Gracida got the lead back for Piocho with a goal from the field. Hall converted his seventh penalty shot of the day to even it at 11-11, but Carlos Gracida scored on a penalty shot of his own. Advantage Piocho, 12-11.
Zacara took control of the ball in the final minute of play, keeping Piocho at bay for the balance of the game. The final bell sounded with Piocho taking the game, 12-11, but losing the battle for a play-off spot on net goals.
Thursdayâ€™s Pacific Coast Open semifinals will have ERG (3-0) facing Grants Farm (2-1) while Lucchese (3-0) meets Zacara (1-2).
The consolation Western Badge Trophy semifinals will pair Piocho (1-2) and Audi (0-3) at 2 pm while Valiente (1-2) and Mansour (1-2) play in the 4 pm contest.