Alegria beats Zacara in OT; earns C. V. Whitney Cup finalist spot

Alegria becomes C. V.
Whitney finalist with OT win over Zacara

Alex Webbe

Zacara 10-goaler Facundo Pieres scored the first goal of
the game and ended up with a game high nine goals on the day, but it was an
overtime goal from patron Julian Mannix that gave Alegria the 17-16 win and the
first spot in Sunday’s C. V. Whitney Cup finals.

Following the penalty conversion by Pieres in the first
two minutes of play, Mariano Aguerre responded with a penalty goal and a goal
from the field to give Alegria a 2-1 opening chukker advantage.

Mike Azzaro tied it up at 2-2 a minute-and-a-half into
the second period, but was answered by consecutive goals from Alegria’s Julian
Mannix, Hilario Ulloa and Aguerre (penalty conversion).  Magoo Laprida closed out the chukker for
Zacara with a goal from the field in the final 48 seconds of play, but they
continued to trail, 5-3.

The two teams battled back and forth in the opening
minutes of the third.  Azzaro cut the
lead to a single goal, 5-4, on a goal from the field in the opening minute of
the chukker.  Facundo Obregon converted a
penalty shot for a goal a minute later to give Alegria a two goal lead,
6-4.  Laprida added another Zacara goal
halfway through the chukker to trail Alegria by a single goal, 6-5.  Three consecutive goals by Alegria (a penalty
goal from Obregon and a pair of goals from the field from Ulloa) ended the first
half with Alegria on top by four goals, 9-5.

Mannix opened the second half with a goal from the field
for a five goal lead, 10-5, in the opening 30 seconds of play.  Pieres responded with a 60-yard penalty
conversion must a minute later, 10-6. 
Pieres took control of the ensuing throw-in and carried it down the
field for another score, and the Alegria lead was pared down to three goals,
10-7.  Alegria answered with consecutive
goals from Mannix and Obregon for a five goal lead, 12-7 when Zacara stormed
back.  Laprida added a goal from the field
and Pieres connected on a penalty shot in the final 20 seconds of the chukker.  After four chukkers of play, Alegria enjoyed
a three goal, 12-9 lead.

The parity of the teams was evident once again in the
fifth.  Zacara got a pair of goals from
Pieres (one from the field and one on a penalty shot) and a single goal from
Laprida, but Alegria was up to the challenge. 
Aguerre scored twice for Alegria and Ulloa added a goal.  The chukker ended with Alegria maintaining
its three goal lead, 15-12.

Pieres opened the sixth chukker on fire, scoring two
goals in less than a minute, and cutting the Alegria lead to a single goal,
15-14.  Obregon scored on a penalty shot,
but Zacara replied in kind with a penalty conversion, 16-14, but a penalty gal
from Pieres and a goal from the field from Laprida had it all even at 16-16 as
time expired, forcing a sudden-death overtime period.

Both teams struggled for control of the ball in the early
goings, with Zacara getting the first opportunity to score, but it would be a
drive down the field that would see Mannix break free and carry it through the
Zacara goal for the winning goal, 17-16, less than three minutes into the

Pieres led all scoring on the day with nine goals.  Laprida added five and Azzaro scored twice in
the loss.

Aguerre led a balanced Alegria attack with five
goals.  Mannix, Ulloa and Obregon
accounted for four goals apiece for the win.