Audito meet Crab Orchard in Joe Barry Memorial Cup final
Villa Del Lago 8-goaler Polito Pieres scored the firsttwo goals of Wednesday afternoonâ€™s 20-goal Joe Barry Memorial Cup semifinal atthe International Polo Club in Wellington, but it would be Marc Ganziâ€™s Auditeam that would ride off with the 9-7 win.
With the Audi team struggling to find any offense, VillaDel Lago scored two unanswered goals from the field from Polito Pieres for anearly 2-0 lead. The first goal camenearly halfway into the seven minute chukker while the second goal came withjust 42 seconds left in regulation play.
Audi managed to right the ship in the second chukker witha pair of goals from Nic Roldan (one on a penalty conversion) and a goal fromthe field from teammate Carlitos Gracida. Polito Pieres continued to have the hot hand as he responded with threegoals of his own. Polito Pieres scoredtwo times from the field and converted a 30-yard penalty shot. Villa Del Lago continued to lead, 5-3.
The Audi defense came up strong in the third, shuttingdown the Villa Del Lago offense for the first time all day. Mark Ganzi scored his first goal of the game,cutting the Villa Del Lago lead to a single goal, 5-4, at the end of the firsthalf.
Roldan added two more penalty goals in the fourth andGanzi added another goal from the field for Audi. Polito Pieres and Agustin Obregon each scoreda goal for Villa Del Lago, who found themselves deadlocked at 7-7.
It was five minutes into the fifth chukker before eitherteam mounted a successful attack. A foulby a defending Villa Del Lago player sent Roldan to the penalty line where hescored on a 40-yard penalty shot. Auditook the lead for the first time all day, 8-7.
For the second consecutive chukker Villa Del Lago wasunable to find any offensive spark. Ganziâ€™s third goal of the game came with over six minutes left in theperiod, but Villa Del Lago was unable to score and Audi drove off with the 9-7victory and a berth in Sundayâ€™s Joe Barry Memorial Cup final.
Polito Pieres scored six goals (one on a penalty shot)for Villa Del Lago. Teammate AgustinObregon added a single goal in the loss. Nic Roldanâ€™s five goals (four on penalty conversions) led the Audiattack. Marc Ganzi scored three timesand Carlitos Gracida added a goal in the win.
CRABORCHARD 12, ZACARA 11
In the dayâ€™s second semifinal of the Joe Barry MemorialCup the combination of Mariano Aguerre and Matias Magrini scored a combinedtwelve goals, lifting Crab Orchard to an exciting 12-11 win over a powerful andtalented Zacara foursome.
Zacara was slow to start with Mariano Aguerre scoring thefirst goal of the game with just over three minutes gone in the openingchukker. Both goals came from the fieldand went unanswered, giving Crab Orchard the early 2-0 advantage.
The Zacara attack got on track in the second period. Zacara team captain Lyndon Lea scored onegoal from the field while Facundo Pieres made good on three penalty shots forgoals. Aguerre added two more goals fromthe field for Crab Orchard and two chukkers into the match it was all even at4-4.
Fourteen-year-old Matias Gonzalez gave Zacara its firstlead of the game with a goal in the third chukker. Penalty goals from Aguerre and Magrini closedout the scoring in the first half, however, giving Crab Orchard the 6-5 edge.
Magrini scored the first goal of the fourth chukker on arun from the opening throw-in to stretch the Crab Orchard lead to two goals,7-5. Ensuing goals from Facundo Pieres(one on a 40-yard penalty shot) ended the period in a 7-7 tie.
A raging Crab Orchard attack had Zacara on their heelsfor much of the fifth chukker, with mistakes, penalties and technical fouls spellingthe Zacara demise. Magrini convertedthree consecutive 30-goal penalty shots for goals, and Aguerre scored on a60-yard Safety as Crab Orchard took a commanding 11-7 lead.
Lea opened the final chukker with a goal from the fieldand Facundo Pieres converted a 60-yard penalty shot for a goal, cutting theCrab Orchard lead to a manageable two goals, 11-9, with over five minutes leftto play. Just when the Zacara offensewas beginning to gel, a costly foul sent Magrini to the penalty line once againwhere he converted a 40-yard shot for a goal, 12-9. Zacara continued to battle. Facundo Pieres managed another goal from thefield, but time was running out. A finalgoal from Pieres came with 25 seconds on the clock, ending the chukker and thegame with a 12-11 Crab Orchard victory, and a spot in the tournament final onSunday, January 27 against Audi.
Matias Magrini and Mariano Aguerre each scored six goalsfor Crab Orchard. Two of the Aguerregoals came on penalty shots while Magrini scored five of his six goals onpenalty shots. Zacaraâ€™s Facundo Pieresled all scoring on the day with eight goals, five goals on penalty shots. Lyndon Lea added two goals and MatiasGonzalez added a goal in a losing cause.