C. V. Whitney Cup final set
By Alex Webbe
Alegria (Julian Mannix, Hilario Ulloa, Mariano Aguerre and Sterling Giannico) earned a position in the final of the 2015 26-goal C. V. Whitney Cup with a 15-11 win over Audi/Millarville (Marc Ganzi, Magoo Laprida, Rodrigo Andrade and Fred Mannix) in Wednesday’s semifinal play at the International Polo Club.
The 24-goal Audi/Millarville team received two goals by handicap from Alegria, and matched the 60-yard penalty conversion from Julian Mannix with a goal from the field from Marc Ganzi. After the first seven minutes of play it was Audi/Millarville with the 2-1 lead.
Alegria took control of the game in the second period, adding a goal from the field from Hilario Ulloa in the opening 30 seconds of the chukker to cut the Audi/Millarville lead to a single goal, 3-2.
Julian Mannix closed out the chukker with a pair of penalty goals that gave the lead to Alegria, 4-3.
Ulloa scored the first goal of the third chukker, 5-3. Fred Mannix responded with a goal of his own less than a minute later, 5-4. Another score from Ulloa was countered by a 40-yard penalty conversion from Magoo Laprida. Alegria maintained the lead, 6-5. Two 30-yard penalty shots ended the first half with Alegria on top, 8-5.
A regrouped Audi/Millarville team hit the field in the fourth chukker determined to reel in Alegria. Fred Mannix scored the first two goals of the chukker on penalty conversions followed by a goal from the field that tied the game at 8-8. Halfway through the chukker, Julian Mannix sent a backhander through the Audi/Millarville goal posts to regain the lead for Alegria, 9-8. Sterling scored his first goal of the day with 1:19 on the clock to make it 10-8. In a final rush of the Audi/Millarville goal, Julian Mannix converted the shot from the field. Alegria led by three goals, 11-8.
The pace started to increase in the fifth, with shots on goal coming more readily, but they weren’t going through the goalposts. Rodrigo Andrade finally scored for Audi/Millarville at the 5:03 mark, 11-9. Ulloa scored on an open backshot to close out the period with Alegria in possession of a 12-9 lead.
Fred Mannix and Ulloa traded goals in the opening minutes of the sixth chukker with Ulloa scoring twice from the field while Fred Mannix converted two 30-yard penalty shots for goals, 14-11. Julian Mannix scored the final goal of the match on a beautifully executed 70-yard shot through the goalposts as Alegria rode off with the 15-11 win.
Julian Mannix led the field in scoring with eight (five on penalty shots). Ulloa was credited with six goals and Giannico scored once in the victory. Fred Mannix led the Audi/Millarville offense with six goals (three on penalty shots). Ganzi, Laprida and Andrade each added a goal and the team received two goals by handicap.
Orchard Hill 11, Valiente 8
Facundo Pieres scored nine goals and led the Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Polito Pieres, Facundo Pieres and Ezequiel Ferrario) offense to a 15-11 win over the defending championship Valiente team (Bob Jornayvaz, Alejo Taranco, Guillermo Terrera and Adolfo Cambiaso) in the second C. V. Whitney Cup semifinal of the day.
With the top two players in the game on the field (Valiente’s Adolfo Cambiaso and Orchard Hill’s Facundo Pieres), the crowded sidelines expected fireworks from the opening throw-in, but that wasn’t the case.
An Orchard Hill foul sent Adolfo Cambiaso toe the penalty line two minutes into the first chukker where he converted the 60-yard shot for a goal, 1-0. Facundo Pieres finally responded with a goal from the field at the three minute mark, 1-1. Consecutive penalty goals by Facundo Pieres closed out the period with Orchard Hill in control of a 3-1 game.
Facundo Pieres scored his fourth goal of the game at 3:12 of the second chukker, 4-1. Valiente finally showed some life with Guillermo Terrera scoring to cut the lead to two goals, 4-2. A final rush at the Valiente goal by Facundo Pieres resulted in a goal with just 16 seconds on the clock, 5-2.
Valiente settled in to the third chukker, marking their opposing players and temporarily muzzling Facundo. Alejo Taranco scored his first goal of the game in the first minute of the period, 5-3, and Cambiaso cut the Orchard Hill lead to a single goal, 5-4 to end the first half.
Choppy play continued to disrupt the rhythm of the players as Valiente fought to get back into the game. Cambiaso missed a pair of 60-yard penalty shots in the fourth chukker before converting a Penalty 6 for a goal to tie the game at 5-5. Cambiaso scored a second goal after a cat-and-mouse game with the opposing players, 6-5.With time running out in the chukker, Facundo Pieres found himself on the scoring end of a pass from Ezequiel Ferrario to knot the score at 6-6 with sixteen seconds left in the period.
Three minutes into the fifth chukker Facundo Pieres struck again. A goal from the lead had Orchard hill back on top, 7-6. With one minute left in the period, Cambiaso converted a 60-yard penalty shot for a goal to level the score once again, 7-7. A Valiente foul at the end of the chukker sent Facundo Pieres to the penalty line where he converted from 40-yardsout, and put Orchard Hill in the lead, 8-7.
An Orchard Hill drive found Facundo Pieres scoring on a shot that ricocheted off the helmet of Taranco and splitting the goal posts, 9-7, four minutes into the final period. Terrera cut the lead back to one, 9-8, on a goal from the field with 2:35 on the clock. Ferrario scored on a drop pass from Polito Pieres, 10-8. With 56seconds left in the game, Polito Pieres scored the final goal of the game for the11-8 win and a trip to the final on Sunday against Alegria.
Facundo Pieres scored nine of Orchard Hill’s eleven goals (four on penalty shots). Polito Pieres and Ferrario added single goals or the win. Cambiaso’s five goals (three on penalty conversions) led the Valiente effort. Terrera added two goals and Taranco scored once in the loss.