Audi and Lechuza score US Open wins

and Lechuza score wins in opening of Nespresso U. S. Open

Alex Webbe

Audi and Lechuza kicked off the opening round of play in
the 2012 Nespresso US Open Championship with wins over Coca-Cola and La
Ensenada, respectively Thursday afternoon at the International Polo Club in

Argentine 10-goaler, Gonzalito Pieres, scored twelve
times in leading Audi to a resounding 15-11 win over a struggling Coca-Cola
team in first round play of the season’s most prestigious tournament.

Gonzalito Pieres scored the first goal of the game just
over halfway through the first chukker, but Coca-Cola went ahead, 2-1, on
single goals from team captain Gillian Johnston and American 9-goaler Julio
Arellano (penalty goal).

Trailing by a goal in the second chukker, Audi quickly
turned things around with Gonzalito Pieres scoring four unanswered goals (two
on penalty shots).  Luis Escobar kept
Coca-Cola from being shut out, scoring the final goal of the chukker with 24
seconds on the clock.  The momentum and
lead had changed hands, and Audi commanded a 5-3 lead.

Two more goals from Gonzalito Pieres in the third and a
goal from his brother, Nico Pieres, gave Audi an 8-5 halftime lead.  Arellano scored both goals for Coca-Cola in
the chukker on penalty shots, the last one coming in the last 45 seconds of the

The fourth chukker was no more charitable for Coca-Cola
than had been the previous two periods.  Johnston
scored her second goal of the game to bring Coca-Cola to within two goals of
the lead when Gonzalito Pieres took over once again.  A pair of penalty goals and a goal from the
field from Gonzalito Pieres were complimented by a goal from brother Nico
Pieres.  At the end of the fourth chukker
Audi was driving off with a 12-6 advantage.

Coca-Cola finally seemed to get into rhythm in the fifth
as they ran up three straight scores before allowing Jeff Hall to slip the ball
through the goalposts with less than 30 seconds to play in the chukker.  Hilario Ulloa scored his first goal of the
day followed by successful scoring efforts by Johnston and Arellano.  The Audi lead had been cut to four goals, 13-9
with one chukker remaining to be played.

Two more goals from Gonzalito Pieres (one from the field
and one by penalty) in the final chukker were answered by single goals from Johnston
and Arellano (penalty conversion) as Audi recorded the 15-11 victory.

At the end of the day, Gonzalito Pieres lit it up with 12
goals (six on penalty shots).  Nico
Pieres was credited with two goals and Hall scored once in the win.

Arellano led the Coca-Cola attack with five goals (four
on penalty shots).  Johnston scored three
times; Escobar twice and Ulloa added a goal.


Lechuza Caracas and La Ensenada started out at a quick
clip in the opening chukker, but play hadn’t quite settled into a workable pace
when halfway through the period 10-goaler Sapo Caset put Lechuza on top, 1-0 on
a penalty conversion.  Two minutes later
Juan Garcia Grossi tied it up with a goal from the field.  The first period ended in a 1-1 deadlock.

Matias Magrini scored a goal from the field in the first 30
seconds of the second chukker for a 2-1 La Ensenada lead.  Lechuza team captain victor Vargas tied it up
at 2-2 with his first goal of the game moments later.  Lucas James converted a penalty shot for a
go-ahead goal for La Ensenada, but that would be the last lead they would
enjoy.  Vargas scored his second goal of
the chukker and teammate Facundo Obregon gave the lead back to Lechuza Caracas
with his first goal of the game, 4-3.  A
final penalty conversion from Caset ended the chukker with a 5-3 Lechuza
Caracas lead.

James and Caset exchanged goals in the third with Lucas
converting a penalty shot and scoring a goal from the field.  Two penalty conversions from Caset kept Lechuza
Caracas in the lead, 7-5 at the end of the first half.

If there were any doubts about the strength of the
Lechuza Caracas offense they were dispelled in the fourth.  Four consecutive goals from the Lechuza
Caracas lineup were combined with shutout defense.  Goals from 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero,
Obregon, Vargas and a penalty goal from Caset had given Lechuza Caracas a lofty
six goal, 11-5 advantage over a struggling La Ensenada foursome.

La Ensenada cut the lead to five goals in the fifth.  Penalty goals from Magrini and James were
countered by a single penalty goal from Caset. 
Lechuza Caracas had matters well in hand with a five goal, 12-7, lead
and one chukker left to play.

There was plenty of fight left on the field for the final
period of play, but the action belonged to Lechuza Caracas.  Single goals from Nero, Obregon and Caset
closed out the scoring for the night in a one-sided, 15-7 victory romp.