Cambiaso Shines in America Cup Opener
By Alex Webbe
Hilario Ulloa scored six goals in the first half as Zacara (1-0) surged to a 10-3 halftime lead before downing Grants Farm (0-1) 13-9 in the opening round of the 2010 USPA Lucchese America Cup at the Santa Barbara Polo Club Friday afternoon in the fourth tournament match of the day.
Scoring five goals in the opening seven-and-a-half minutes of play while playing lights-out defense had Zacara off to a fast start, with Ulloa scoring three times from the field while getting single goals from team captain Lyndon Lea and 8-goaler Jeff Hall.
â€œWe came out loaded in the first chukker,â€ said Hall, â€œwe were all well-mounted and just killed them. I donâ€™t know what they (Grants Farm) were doing, but it worked well for us.â€ He added.
Hall Scored his second goal of the game to open the second chukker before back to back penalty conversions by Grants Farmâ€™s Sugar Erskine got Andy Buschâ€™s team back on track. Ulloa closed out the scoring in the second period with a penalty goal, giving Zacara a 7-2 lead.
â€œWe had Lyndon back in the lineup, and he makes a big difference to the team,â€ offered Hall, â€œand Hilario (Ulloa) finally got a really good game under his belt, and heâ€™s only going yo get better,â€ he said.
Andy Busch scored the opening goal of the third chukker, but three consecutive goals from Zacara gave them a seven goal lead, and it was Grants Farm that left the field at the end of the first half trailing 10-3.
Hallâ€™s fourth goal of the match made it 11-3 to open the second half before a penalty goal from Erskine and another goal from Busch ended the chukker with Zacara sitting on top of an 11-5 score.
Erskine converted a penalty shot and scored another from the field in the fifth chukker, but the Grants Farm couldnâ€™t step the charging Zacara attack. Single goals from Hall and Ulloa had Zacara ahead, 13-7, as the period ended.
Erskine scored two more penalty goals in the final chukker as Zacara was content to ride out the game, scoring a first round 13-9 win.
Ulloa led the Zacara attack with seven goals while Hall added five of his own. Lea scored one goal in the win.
Erskineâ€™s seven goals led the Grant Farm effort. Busch accounted for two goals in the loss.
LUCCHESE 15, VALIENTE 14
In what looked like a rematch of last Sundayâ€™s Skene Trophy finals, a different Valiente (0-1) team took the field in a hard-fought battle with Adolfo Cambiaso and the Lucchese (1-0) team. Showing that they were capable of playing nose to nose with â€œthe great oneâ€, Valiente rallied from an 8-5 deficit to fall just short in the 15-14 loss.
Cambiaso scored the first goal of the match on a penalty shot before a pair of goals from Valienteâ€™s Kris Kampsen had them ahead, 2-1. Lucchese team captain John Muse evened the score with his first goal of the game, and the chukker ended in a 2-2 tie.
â€œHeâ€™s magnificent,â€ marveled Kampsen, â€œbut I think we played him pretty tough today.â€
Nacho Astrada put Valiente back on top with a goal in the second period before the Lucchese attack started to warm up. Two goals from a hard-riding Jason Crowder and another penalty goal from Cambiaso had the Lucchese team up 5-3.
Astrada converted a safety in the third followed by successive goals from Lucchese players Andres Weisz, Cambiaso and Crowder. Astradaâ€™s second penalty goal of the game ended the chukker with Lucchese taking an 8-5 lead off the field with them at halftime.
â€œI think we were a more confident team today,â€ said Kampsen, â€œand I think we executed pretty well. If we had made a couple fewer mistakes or gotten a break here or there, it might have been different.â€
Cambiaso scored three times in the fourth chukker, but Valiente countered with four goals of its own. Both Kampsen and Astrada added a pair of goals from the field, and the Lucchese lead was cut to two goals, 11-9.
Astrada opened the fifth period with a penalty conversion for a goal. Cambiaso came back with two goals, and Juan Carlos Harriet notched his first goal of the game for Valiente. Lucchese held on to a two goal lead, 13-11.
Cambiaso scored his ninth and tenth goals of the game in the sixth chukker, and seemed to sew up the win, but Valiente wasnâ€™t quite through.
Harriet added his second goal of the game and Kampsen added two more. With Valiente pressing its attack, time expired and Lucchese took the game, 15-14.
Cambiaso led all scoring with ten goals on the day. Crowder added three goals and Muse and Weisz added single goals in the win.
Kampsen and Astrada scored six goals apiece for Valiente. Harriet added two in the loss.
PIOCHO RANCH 11, AUDI 9
The legendary brother combination of Memo and Carlos Gracida led Piocho Ranch (1-0) to an 11-9 win over Audi (0-1) in one of the dayâ€™s morning matches.
â€œItâ€™s only our eighth different lineup of the season,â€ offered Audi team captain Marc Ganzi, â€œbut I thought we did pretty well, considering.â€
Ganzi was referring to a scheduled practice with new team member Leo Mandelbaum in which the Palm Beach 3-goaler Leo Mandelbaum suffered a cut over his eye in the third chukker of the warm-up match.
â€œWe never really got a full practice game in with him (Mandelbaum), but we played pretty well after the opening two chukkers,â€ said Ganzi.
Piocho jumped out to a 4-1 lead after the first two chukkers with Carlos Gracida scoring three of his four goals on penalty shots. A single first chukker goal from Ganzi accounted for the total Audi offense in the first two periods.
â€œOnce we got used to playing with one another, I thought we showed some real potential,â€ said Ganzi.
And his words certainly characterized the Audi play for the remaining four chukkers of the game.
Single goals from Memo and Carlos were answered by a pair of goals from Audi 10-goaler Lolo Castagnola, and Piocho owned a 6-3 lead after the first three chukkers.
Castagnola tied the score in the fourth with three straight goals, but Piocho rebounded. Single goals from Carlos Gracida and Matias Zavaleta kept Piocho Ranch in front, 8-6.
Piocho stretched its lead to four goals, 11-7, in the fifth chukker, getting single goals from Carlos and Memo, and Zavaleta while holding Audi to a single goal from Ganzi.
Two more goals from Audi in the final chukker werenâ€™t enough to overcome the early deficit, with Piocho capturing the game with an 11-6 victory.
Carlos Gracida led the scoring with seven goals. Zavaleta and Memo Gracida added two goals apiece in the win.
Castagnola led the Audi attack with six goals. Ganzi added two and Juan Bollini scored once.
ERG 10, MANSOUR 8
ERG (1-0) held on to a 5-3 halftime lead in the dayâ€™s second morning contest with disciplined defense and a balanced scoring attack.
ERG got scoring form all four team members as it built on a 2-1 first chukker lead. Following a scoreless second period, ERG got single goals from team captain Scott Wood, Santiago Torres and Paco De Narvaez while holding Mansour to single goals from Luis Escobar and Martin Zegers.
Both teams traded goals throughout the balance of the match, with ERG maintaining a two goal lead after each of the final three chukkers.
De Narvaez and Torres led the ERG attack with three goals apiece. Wood and Silvestre Donovan scored two goals each in the win.
Zegers set the pace for Mansour with five penalty goals. Escobar added two goals from the field while team captain Ben Soleimani added a single goal in the loss.
Action in the 2010 USPA Lucchese America Cup continues on Sunday, August 1st with ERG (1-0) meeting Lucchese (1-0) in one of the dayâ€™s morning games. Mansour (0-1) and Valiente (0-1) face one another in the second 10 am match.
At noon on Sunday, Piocho (1-0) and Zacara (1-0) cross mallets at 1 pm with Audi (0-1) battling Grants Farm (0-1) in the 3 pm contest.